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Here Are The Young Men

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Here are the Young Men tells the story of four young men: Cocker, Rez, Kearney and Matthew. Facing into the void that is the rest of their post-school lives, they spend their first summer of freedom in an orgy of self-destruction. Each of them in their own way struggles to keep their connection to reality – a reality they despise, but which conceals a chaos they cannot fac ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2014 by The Lilliput Press
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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Matthew and his three friends are facing their first post graduation summer. What should be the beginning of fun and freedom instead gives way to restlessness and unease. With exams a bust and job prospects nonexistent each rely on their usual combo of booze, drugs and video games to help counter their apathy toward humanity, oblivious to the fact that it instead fuels their disconnect. With one friend suffering from severe depression and another showing signs of psychosis, Matthew spends his da ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. Life is too short to finish books you don't like.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd bought this debut Irish novel having been intrigued by the subject matter while reading reviews on release, despite some of said reviews having some reservations about the narrative. While I share some of the same reservations, it still is a very promising start to Doyle's publishing career.

Set in the summer of 2003, the narrative follows three primary characters-Matthew, whose chapters are written in the first person, and Rez and Kearney, who we read about in the third person. Along with th
John Kelly
Jul 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Usually, when I'm writing a review of a book or a film, I try to be a bit lenient and say "well, this person wrote a book and I haven't, so they're clearly doing something better than me!" Except I can't feel this way about this book. I'd be ashamed to put my name to this thing.

The story is about a bunch of one-dimensional stand-ins for various aspects of teenage lives. There's the clever, bookish one. There's the violent misanthrope. There's the boring generic one. And they all go around Dublin
In Ireland circa 2003, a group of young friends have finished school and are thrust into the 'real' world. Matthew is uncertain – smart and sensitive, but prone to trouble, with little idea of what he wants to do with his life. Rez is empty, going through the motions, unsure if he's able to feel anything anymore. Kearney is a powder keg, obsessed with fantasies of violence. Unwilling to face adulthood or work, the boys spend their days drinking/smoking/taking pills, devising pranks, and (increas ...more
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Matthew and his three friends are facing their first post graduation summer. What should be the beginning of fun and freedom instead gives way to restlessness and unease. With exams a bust and job prospects nonexistent each rely on their usual combo of booze, drugs and video games to help counter their apathy toward humanity, oblivious to the fact that it instead fuels their disconnect. With one friend suffering from severe depression and another showing signs of psychosis, Matthew spends his da ...more
Brenda A
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
heed this warning: this book is a triumph of complete fuck ups and slackers, and it gets into really dark and gritty territory. There are scenes involving date rape drugs, heavy drug usage, torture porn, and sociopathy. These characters are not your run-of-the-mill mischievous boys; there's some serious issues going on with each of them.

It was a pretty gnarly read, simply put. These Irish teenagers are a very dramatic representation of a current issue with many in my generation (even though it's
Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Bought this out of curiosity after a friend had mentioned it to me in passing recently.It's without doubt one of the worst books I've read in quite some time, to the point where I'm actually angry at myself for wasting my time reading it. Flimsy, one dimensional characters and a predictable "cataclysmic twist" you can see coming pretty quickly.

The depiction of teenagers here borders on the patronising,the idea it's supposedly holding up a mirror to Irish society is laughable, and a lot of the w
Mar 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
With no plot, bad language in every sentence which begins to bore the reader, extensive drug and sex references and no character development, I give a book my first one star. I thought this book would be insightful but no... I regret buying this.

However it is important to note that people do love this book and the author has achieved publishing and making money from this book but this just wasn't for me.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Original review at
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 Stars

Matthew, Kearney, Rez and Cocker have just finished high school and are looking forward to a summer of drugs, apathy and sex. Content to do nothing other than get high they cannot handle when reality starts to intrude. Rez can’t turn off his mind and Kearney seems to be losing his. As they descend deeper and deeper they discover there may be no way out.

I was very intrigued by t
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reviews
Rob Doyle’s Here are the Young Men should come with a warning: this is a very VERY dark novel. But it’s compelling and page-turning, and one of the most visceral books I have read in a long time.

Set in the Dublin summer of 2003, it focuses on a group of teenage boys — Matthew, Rez, Cocker and Kearney — who have just finished school and are awaiting the outcome of their Leaving Cert exam results, which will determine their future lives.

But these boys are Trouble. Matthew, for instance, has been b
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a master piece. I have no other words.
Doyle draws you into the story of these boys and shows how lost we can feel after leaving school, the dark and twisted roads of not knowing what comes next, the pressure, the pain and the temptation.
Apart from the gripping storyline Doyle describes Dublin in an amazing way. If you've ever been to Dublin and read this book after you can see yourself wandering through the streets just as he describes them. He shows the good, the bad and the ugly.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
How is this misogynist trope heralded as brilliant work? It's violent fantasy. The blurbs for this book would have you believe that Rob Doyle is some sort of literary genius, capturing the voices of most of today's teenage boys in a must-read masterpiece. This is not most of today's boys, and while it's almost interesting, it's really difficult to look past Doyle's graphic and gleeful and constant portrayal of rape. What would his writing be without the sickness? The characters are one-dimension ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Found this in a charity shop- a quick read and was actually much better than expected- starts of typically teenage stuff and got really dark and twisted in the end.
Sleepless Dreamer
Signing up for courses is making me truly understand Hermione and her time-turner.

Anyway, if you ever come across someone who tells you this is their favorite book, you should probably be concerned.

So this book tells us about 4 Irish boys who essentially all go through an existential crisis, each one differently. Some parts were done well, the bit about kissing felt very relatable, I remember thinking that way as a teen as well. The scene where Rez talks about how we all want to know someone w
If I was to compare Rob Doyle to any writer it could be Bret Easton Ellis, because of his cheap-shock tactics, gratuitous violence and depictions of privileged teenagers getting high and drunk while maintaining that they are depressed (I call the characters in Here Are the Young Men privileged because they are graduating from secondary school at the height of the Celtic Tiger, 2003, and the world is pretty much their oyster if they play their cards right). I found this debut to be disappointing. ...more
J.S. Dunn
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland
A fast read, for which one can be grateful. Also kudos to the author for shining a bright light on what results from
disinterested parenting,
an outmoded education model,
and a moral vacuum left where the strong [ dire?] influence of the Church formerly guided behavior and personal choices.

It's so uncool to say anything in support of the Church these days, am sure this review will generate some hate mail. The irony is that I don't regularly practice any religion so your aim when insulting me wi
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
While an entertaining read, with a brilliant ending, this post-modern Clockwork Orange was often too tastelessly repulsive to maintain interest. It contained some solid philosophical insight as conveyed through the lives of its three protagonists, Irish school-leavers, and its striking and distinctive portrayals of its (male) cast of wayward youth almost made it a good book. Unfortunately, the book goes too far too often, bogging down the pace midway so the author can overwrite on the horrible s ...more
Kit Kolbegger
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book read somewhere between Irvine Welsh and Brett Eastin Ellis only utterly disappointing. A slow start, though some parts of the novel were very gripping, and about 100 pages in I found myself wanting to know what happened. This wasn't due much to the plot, and the racial and racist (and homophobic and misogynistic and violent) chapters from Kearney's point of view were off-putting... And not in a good way. It wasn't a thoroughly detestable read, and the author's descriptions of drug use ...more
Barry Pierce
Feb 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Here Are The Young Men by Rob Doyle is a vile novel. A work of such vivid bleakness that I struggle to even form words through my seething hatred. We follow a group of detestable young men around Dublin as they take more drugs than Hunter S. Thompson at a Grammys after-party. I’m not sure whether the author actually wanted us to sympathise with these delinquents but when he decided to have one character actually smile when 9/11 happens I officially went into auto-pilot with this novel. The fault ...more
Alexandra Pearson
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is going to be like marmite - you'll either love it or you'll hate it. I loved it. Yes, it's dark and violent and crude, but it's so well written I could barely put it down, even in its most intense moments.
To sum it up in a few words, it's American Psycho meets Trainspotting, but with teenagers in Dublin.
It's a fantastic debut. I can't wait to see what Doyle does next, and I hope this book reaches the audience it deserves.
Devin Sheehan
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ruthless and enjoyable.

Essentially a story of young Irish men contemplating the void through debauchery and excess. Expect morals to be jettisoned, with writing so clear and honest it manages to avoid anything approaching a cliche. Rob Doyle has that talent where you might find a line or setting that doesn't quite fit in, but he'll revisit it a paragraph later through the biting insight of a character.

It has the hallmarks of a modern novel - short chapters from different perspectives, implied
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is dark with very unlikeable characters.
The main characters are four young men who don't know what to do with their lives, so they drink too much, take a lot of drugs and create trouble everywhere they go. They only care about themselves and almost hate the world. Some of them sometimes try to do better, others are just plain psychopats.

Should all this information scare you away? Depends. I really liked the different perspective and the always flawed characters and I do feel there is
Mairi Hughes
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not my usual read but I it was on my list. As I read I knew one of the boys would meet his maker but I liked the twist at the end so my guess was wrong. Not the sort of book I could pass on to my mother but have handed on to my son. On the cusp on manhood the three friends end up on the dark side of growing up.
Rachel Dunham
This book is well written, very messed up, and had me thinking about it for days after I finished. It’s like an Irish ‘Less Than Zero’ meets ‘Kill Your Friends’ minus all the apathy. These characters have feelings, and it is actually an insightful look into the violence of post-911, American-influenced culture. The Dublin dialogue, although way easier than reading Scottish slang, makes me want to give another attempt at reading Trainspotting.
Kiana Gardner
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are very few things you can do to adequately prepare yourself for the horror and the extreme emotional roller coaster you will go on while reading this book. However, it is a very interesting and well-written novel; yet keep in mind, it is not for the emotionally over-sensitive nor the weak of heart.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The prose isn't all that compelling, but a lot of the individual events ring very true, and I found myself being frustrated by just how much I identified with the book.

I couldn't imagine everyone liking this book, because I was mostly just enamored by the fact that I wasn't the only straight guy who sniffed poppers and listened to aphex twin.
Lucas R.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Well written and witty, but hampered at times by relying too much on shock value.
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dude is a bonafide genius. Fair play.
Mícheál S.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
strangely really good insight into the life of teenagers and drugs
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Rob Doyle’s first novel, Here Are the Young Men, is published by Bloomsbury, and was chosen as a book of the year by The Irish Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Business Post, and Independent. It was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year. His second book, This Is the Ritual, will be published in January 2016 (Bloomsbury / Lilliput). Rob’s fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared ...more

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