RaveThe Irish TimesThe English sense of humour, once allegedly admired all over the world, has been turned back against us and in recent years, instead of making the joke, we find that we are its butt ... And now, to add final insult to bitter injury, we have to endure Fintan O’Toole forensically exploring the psychopathology of Brexit in this wounding book-length essay, in which he excludes the Scottish and the Welsh from discussion almost entirely on the grounds that \'Brexit is essentially an English phenomenon\' ... O’Toole of course is well known (even in England) as both a political and a cultural commentator, and what gives this book its distinction is the fact that, as a critic of drama and literature, he is as adept at analysing character (as revealed by language) as he is at marshalling statistics ... Besides our campy, irresponsible love of eccentricity - and our bathetic mythologizing of the second World War – the English have also been laid low, in O’Toole’s analysis, by our peculiar sexual pathologies ... it’s the contemporary English imagination which is the real subject of this book. O’Toole uncovers and dissects it with the deliberate, affectless skill of a virtuoso surgeon. The result, for me, is a wildly entertaining but uncomfortable read. In short, he has nailed us. He has nailed us to the floor with a nine-inch nail. It’s certainly not easy bein’ English these days, and O’Toole, with this pitilessly brilliant book, has just made it at least fifty shades harder.