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‘I saw a side of my own character that I didn’t like, that filled me with nausea’ –bestseller John Boyne on taking a break from Twitter and being taught by convicted sex abuser John McClean

The best-selling writer on his new novel inspired by the trans debate, the ills of social media and his Garda complaint over the alleged sexual abuse he suffered while a student at Terenure College

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John Boyne triptych. Pictures by Owen Breslin

John Boyne triptych. Pictures by Owen Breslin

Author John Boyne. Picture by Owen Breslin

Author John Boyne. Picture by Owen Breslin

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John Boyne triptych. Pictures by Owen Breslin

John Boyne has learned his lesson. It’s a few weeks before his new book, The Echo Chamber, will be published and he’s already gone on hiatus from Twitter. He won’t be “feeding the trolls”, won’t be “ringing the bell for dinner”, and “anyone who wants to have a go can do so without my seeing it”.

It’s perhaps a wise move, given that the book – a funny, biting satire on the excesses and hypocrisy of social media – may be interpreted by some as its own kind of trolling, a clap back at the online mobs that periodically came for Boyne over the last few years.


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