“Topographia Hibernica” by Blindboy Boatclub is the January 2024 selection for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Each month, we will pick a new Irish book or a great book by an Irish author and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story for the IrishCentral Book Club.

“Topographia Hibernica” is the second book from Blindboat Boyclub, an Irish satirist, podcaster, author, and TV presenter who is one half of the hip-hop comedy duo The Rubberbandits, who famously wear plastic bags on their heads to conceal their identities. 

Published in November 2023 by the Hodder & Stoughton imprint Coronet, "Topographia Hibernica" is already a number-one bestseller in Ireland.

Ahead of his book's publication, Blindboy Boatclub said: “This is my first collection of short stories that centers around a theme.

"There was another book, a manuscript, called 'Topographia Hibernica' written in the 12th century and this was a colonial manuscript which dehumanized Irish people and Irish identity by comparing us with animals.

"So with this collection, I got to explore my curiosity around colonialism, Irish identity, and also our relationship with animals, specifically, not just as Irish people, but as humans, specifically in the context of climate collapse."

In shops today. My latest collection of short stories Topographia Hibernica pic.twitter.com/RRi2dMsgcM

— The Blindboy Podcast (@bbboatclub) November 9, 2023

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Synopsis of “Topographia Hibernica”

You don’t fully appreciate how large a donkey’s head is until it’s beside you in a Fiat Punto. The view in my mirror was furry and violent. I was driving blind.

Driving with a donkey stuffed in the back seat; jackdaws pecking brains out through the roof of a confessional box; cat piss and astronauts. This is the world not as you see it, but as it is, twisted from the maverick mind of Blindboyboatclub.

These are stories of the strange unsettlings in the souls of men caught in between the past and the possible; stories of heart-blinding rage and disquieting compassion.

Taking its title from a twelfth-century English manuscript of the same name, which dehumanised the people and culture of Ireland to facilitate domination, Topographia Hibernica is a collection that unravels the knotted threads of humanity, nature and colonisation from a contemporary Irish perspective.

Reviews for “Topographia Hibernica”

“One of the most gifted writers of his generation” - Michael Harding - Irish Times

“A bestseller in the bag” - Irish Independent

“A cultural phenomenon... Earnest and intellectual, but also funny and down-to-earth.... Talking to him can feel like skittering around a galaxy of Wikipedia wormholes (in a good way)” - New York Times

“Powered by immense, perverse energy out of the Limerick idiom, the collection generates a singular music that is memorable, unsettling and humane. Moments of beauty dazzle amid the profanity, as pathos and comedy are braided together” - Guardian

“Eerie, dark and twisted . . . Blindboy's passion for Irish nature, mythology and folklore lends a spiritual profundity” - Buzz

About Blindboy Boatclub

Blindboy Boatclub is one of Ireland’s foremost artistic voices. His literary debut, "The Gospel According to Blindboy," was a bestseller, and his weekly podcast reaches over one million listeners monthly. You can follow him on X @bbboatclub.

(Synopsis, reviews, and biographical information provided by Coronet.)