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The Rules of Revelation

Ireland’s having an identity crisis, rent’s through the roof, and Cork is producing a profligate number of poets. A band called Lord Urchin bursts onto the scene with an insufferable mission statement, and four lives are turned inside-out.


Mel comes back to Cork from Brexit Britain, ill-equipped to deal with the resurgence of a family scandal. Eleventh-hour revolutionary Maureen won’t stop until she’s rewritten her city’s history. Former sex worker Georgie is encouraged to tell her story by a journalist with her own agenda. And Karine prepares for her ex-boyfriend’s return, knowing that he’s going to warp all around him . . . and that she’s going to help him do it.


This is a novel about art and its relationship to class and transgression, about trauma, gender, obsession and love. And about great nationalists, bad mothers, and a debut album that might drive the whole of Ireland mad.

Available from John Murray as book, ebook or audiobook

Praise for The Rules of Revelation


'Not only a glorious, bold, funny state-of-the-nation novel, but a beautiful and painful love story too.' SALLY ROONEY

'The characters, the dialogue, the wit and humanity - everything about this book glows.' RODDY DOYLE

'It's got all the crackle and verve and mad vivid life we've come to expect but it's so open-hearted and warm, too, and utterly engrossing - it's her best work to date, which is really saying something.' KEVIN BARRY

'Lisa McInerney’s prose is rightly praised for its kinetic qualities, but its subtleties are just as impressive. As in its predecessors in this, the most essential English-language fiction cycle since St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels, The Rules of Revelation’s scenes are so alive and real, so insidiously affecting, that they weirdly engage most of the senses.' GAVIN CORBETT

'No other writer captures the pained, complex lives of damaged young men and women in contemporary Ireland like McInerney does. With her savage wit and caustic eye there’s no shirking of the ugly truths of Irish society and the havoc wreaked on innocent lives. This is a raw, intense novel, full of tenderness, humour and above all humanity.' MARY COSTELLO

'Unsparing, unsentimental, but deeply affectionate...The Rules of Revelation is stylish and relentlessly original.' NICOLE FLATTERY

'An enthralling and expansive novel. There is no mistaking the brilliantly inventive, savage, technicolour bounce of McInerney's prose.' COLIN BARRETT

'A perfect end to one of the best trilogies in modern Irish literature. McInerney’s writing moves from the tragic to the hilarious with a dazzling deftness, examining a post-Crash Ireland - and its hypocrisy in how it shapes class, art, and feminism - with a gimlet eye.  A triumph.' LOUISE O’NEILL

'This book captures modern Ireland in all its frenetic complexity. A big, bold, energetic beast of a novel. It's funny, acidic, shocking and just a wee bit heartbreaking, with a healthy side of McInerney's signature wit. Nobody walks the line between pathos and hilarity quite as well as McInerney does.' JAN CARSON

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