Magesh Nandagopal
BRILLIANT by Roddy Doyle Macmillan, New Delhi, 2014, 250 pp., 399
November 2014, volume 38, No 11

Roddy Doyle’s Brilliant is less than a brilliant book. Ray and Gloria live with their parents and granny in the outskirts of Dublin. Their uncle Ben arrives one day to live with them (for a while, their mother adds). The kids learn that Uncle Ben is in financial trouble and cannot continue to live in his house even though the house is his—the banks won’t let him use it. The entire family loves Ben and Ben loves them. So, when Ben becomes depressed, and when their granny attributes this to the Big Black Dog of Depression that has descended onto Dublin, which has apparently taken the funny bone of Dublin, and hence taking away all the fun and smiles, Gloria and Ray venture out in the night before St. Patrick’s Day to find (and take care of) the Big Black Dog of Depression (lets call it BBDD from here on).

Ray and Gloria enlist their friend Ernie, and are joined in by dozens of other Dublin kids—each of whom has a depressed person in their home and believe that BBDD is the culprit causing the depression.

Continue reading this review