October 24, 2006

Reviews: The Popes Children (Book)

Posted in News · 10 comments ·

In Praise of The Pope’s Children:

“funny irreverent, bitingly accurate and even-handed”
Irish Times

“a brilliant guide for the layman…a deft dissection of social mores. It is all great fun and , you’ll probably recognise yourself somewhere in there”
Irish Independent

“It is bright, pacey clever and entertaining…and full of attatude, not unlike the people it surveys.”
The Village

“The definitive description of the Ireland we live in. Read it and weep.”

Sunday Tribune

  1. Anslow34

    The subject of the ‘old middle classes’ was dealt with in an excellent manner by McWilliams; I think it’s true that they have snobbery towards the newer middle classes. It could be stated that the newer middle classes have immense talent, talents which were previously impossible to cultivate due to lack of money. NOW these new middle classes are showing their work ethic and intelligence, and often out-shining the old set.

    I think that if one reads this book then one will soon realise that this country needs to take a step back and think about things a lot more, and most importantly be more open minded.

  2. some bits are funny, but it’s far too much a rip of of bobos in paradise for it to be published as an independent work

    also ireland’s doing well and will continue to do so, property or not, as we are actually quite an entrepreneurial bunch adn are never going back to the bad old days.

    and the claim of “I predicted Ireland’s economic boom ra ra ra” ranks up there with the constant dire predictions of the property market falling sooner or later : no credibility as a supporter just because your team won.

    please leave this comment up to show how fair and open minded you are

  3. LadyHiCo

    I took delight in reading your book and was heartened to note that there is an Irishman among us who can participate in heroic thinking.

  4. Almost finished reading the book following the yearly Xmas pilgramage back to Carlow from Switzerland.

    The book has really helped me put things into context (eg the lifestyle of my three younger brothers in 06 vs 96 for me).

    Will be a large part of helping me to decide on returning despite the congestion etc.
    Looking forward to the next.

  5. pepper

    Congratulations. A very interesting book, even if it could do with a good editor.
    David Mc. has his finger on the pulse and since his descriptions of the modern Irish “communities” are so hilarious, I can excuse his profound cynicism about where we are headed as a nation.
    One thing that really really irked me however was the referral to a Polish man as an illegal immigrant (the part where he gets property advice on the bus). I’m not sure if you heard David but Poland joined the EU in May 2004. That means that all of its citizens are legally entitled to live in Ireland … an important distinction I would have thought.
    Otherwise a great read. I might even check out the DVD. Word has it a few were smuggled back to New York after the christmas holidays.

  6. Valentine T.

    Congratulations David,
    The book is amazing. As an economist as well, I lived these changes in the social/ economic life in the Celtic Tiger, since I came in Ireland in 2001.
    As a “foreigner”, I had a great joy to find out that as an Irish, you’re perceiving the same truth, like any other non-marked citizen, with this dose of teribilism that 95% of the irish people seems to have it.(eg: Ireland is the reachest, most desirable and all the other properties in the world or lives that anybody else might have is nothing compare with what we,irish people built in here and enjoy now.The poorest foreigners are swamping our lovely country just to enjoy a little bit of the “miracle” celtic goodness.)
    For people that are coming in Ireland, which have properties over 500000 eur in Ireland or in their own countries,like my case, the way that irish people are behaving, especially with foreigners is a joke.
    A 3 bedrooms house in Dublin isn’t better than a 3 bedroom house anywhere else.
    I can say that might me more cramped and expensive than anywhere else.
    The middle class formed in here is like any other middle class in any third world country. They would step on the class under them, from the 06 and 07 cars and will believe that wasn’t their fault that you were under their sole at that time.

    Soon the so called “equality” will be more and more innequality and classes will continue to modify and to expand, especially the lower classes.
    We’ll live to see this.


  7. Raymond Darling


    I am watching the re-run of the popes children on RTE. Brilliant. This is def your area.

    On the Yummy mummy bit. I have been all over ashbourne and have yet to speak to one.

    Lots of yummy ladies though


  8. Peter

    Well David, your property predictions are finally coming true. I think they were always going to. The down turn was just being delayed due to the banks eagerly giving away so much money……………….Bravo…..

  9. Elaine

    An interesting and amusing read…theory of ‘The Pope’s Children’ is an amusing and apt way of viewing the people behind or party to Ireland’s boom…but overall, sadly, really rather unsatisfying (so much so I’m actually writing this comment!). Having just finished the book (which is over repetitive, badly edited and entirely inconclusive)…I’m not entirely sure of its purpose…while it fits the ‘mood’ of Ireland, and while you highlight a lot of interesting facts (quite in the style of Freakonomics one could be forgiven for presuming were it not for the fact that both were published in the same year) in a humorous and cynically irish manner…you’re not actually saying anything beyond what is contained in chapters 1-3 and 17-19 and the chapter where you talk about the source of Irish credit, chapter 7….was it in fact a series of articles published elsewhere and stuck together?? Suggest a somewhat more ruthless approach next time in your editing as this had the potential to be so much more (thus rendering it so entirely unsatisfying).

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