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Critical Praise

“The complex architecture of this haunting novel is seamlessly constructed. The path to the priesthood that Odran Yates follows is both understandable and sympathetic. John Boyne has created a character who holds himself accountable for the sins of others. No writer today handles guilt with as much depth and sadness. As Father Yates takes himself to task for all he didn’tdo, nothing less than the sexual duplicity and cover-ups of the Catholic Church are indicted. This is John Boyne’s most important novel and of vital importance to Irish history; it is also a gripping story, one no reader can put down until its devastating end.”

—John Irving

“Beautifully and powerfully written, with an undercurrent of passion, A HISTORY OF LONELINESS is aptly titled. A portrait of one of those individuals we imagine we know --- but have not a clue of his depths.” 

—Joyce Carol Oates

“John Boyne has plunged into the dark and troubled history of the Catholic Church in our time and come up with a novel to treasure. Unflinching, moving, and true.” 

—John Banville

“An urgently compelling story of the damage that happens when we turn our eyes from wrong. Anyone who wants to know what happened in the Irish Catholic Church needs to read this brave, righteously angry and stunning book. Some of us have long wondered what it would be like if a master storyteller turned his powers to this theme. Now we know.”

—Joseph O’Connor