‘O’Driscoll’s book is an important document: well written, brisk, unfooled, it makes cool, frank and poetic observations of the intersection between personal desire and cultural possibility. At a time when we risk losing the run of ourselves in the forever ‘new’ Ireland of today, this brave, honest book should not be missed.’
Gerald Dawe, The Irish Times.
'Ciaran O'Driscoll is a poet of the first order. This book makes it clear that he is also a consummate writer of prose. This memoir reveals much suffering as well as unusual integrity, with humour and youth in it in spite of everything, and a hard-won resolution at the end. It is an extraordinary feat. Read it.' Pearse Hutchinson, The RTE Guide.
‘A wonderfully evocative exploration of personal childhood traumas and their adult resonance… a rarity in the field.’
Darragh McManus, The Irish Examiner
'Ciaran O'Driscoll can compete with Frank McCourt in the misery stakes, but A Runner Among Falling Leaves is neither predictable nor derivative, and the author's lyrical style gives it an edge over the dozens of other memoirs clamouring for space on our bookshelves.'
Shirley Kelly, Books Ireland
‘The book combines nostalgia with truth and social commentary with poetry.... O’Driscoll’s return to his background and his humane portrayal of growing up, a process which is life-long, is rich and compelling.’ Sue O’Connor, The Reader (UK)
'I grew up in the town of this memoir. It all comes back to me through O'Driscoll"s poetic eye, the back row of Egan's cinema, the stink and sweat of Fair Days, the schoolboy jingles, the girls swimming in the King's River. But at the heart of the book is a deeply affecting, traumatic relationship between father and son. Here the writing is terrifying and like no other memoir I have read.'
Thomas Kilroy, playwright and author of The Big Chapel.