The Echo Chamber: Boyne turns an unhappy social media episode into a sharp and funny satire

Novelist John Boyne found himself embroiled in a Twitter storm after his novel My Brother’s Name is Jessica was criticised for its treatment of transgender issues. In his latest novel, he uses the experience to comic effect

John Boyne has not been particularly known in the past for humorous writing, but in his latest novel he excels, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Picture: Marc O’Sullivan


The Echo Chamber

By John Boyne

Doubleday, €18.99

John Boyne is no stranger to online arguments. In April 2019, the writer temporarily deleted his Twitter account after receiving significant backlash around his young adult novel My Brother’s Name is Jessica, which followed a 12-year-old boy learning about his sibling’s transition, and an article Boyne wrote in the Irish Times that touched on wider trans issues. The author subsequently had to involve solicitors when one ...