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In Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize winning novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha an Irish lad named Paddy rampages through the streets of Barrytown with a pack of like minded hooligans playing cowboys and Indians etching their names in wet concrete and setting fires Roddy Doyle has captured the sensations and speech patterns of preadolescents with consummate skill and managed to do so without resorting to sentimentality Paddy Clarke and his friends are not bad bo. I hate to think that I m susceptible to some merchandiser s power of suggestion but as soon as hearts and Cupids give way to shamrocks and leprechauns typically Feb 15 my thoughts often turn towards the Emerald Isle Of course when the lovely lass I married accompanied me there last year to celebrate a round number anniversary I can be forgiven for thinking about it even right Beyond the history scenery culture silver tongued locals and tasty libations there s the draw of their proud literary tradition Roddy Doyle has done his part to continue this Many here know him from his book The Commitments the first in the Barrytown Trilogy and the basis for a fookin brilliant film Well PCHHH is no slouch either It won a Booker in 1993 Both Doyle and his protagonist are exactly my age It was interesting to me to see the similarities and differences that a ten year old Dublin lad would experience in 1968 I could relate to the joys of transistor radios and The Man from UNCLE for instance and generally to that emerging awareness of a complicated world The horseplay among boys that age was another commonality When or where has that not been the case Even so the extremes to which Paddy and his mates took it would have been ruled out of bounds most places For instance I m pretty sure I never tried to set my brother s lips on fire with lighter fluid or hobble anyone from the wrong side of the tracks The overall feel of it was like Ralphie from A Christmas Story had he been speaking about his miserable Irish childhood a la Angela s Ashes though perhaps slightly drier with the Maruis de Sade as technical advisorOne aspect of the book that was both similar and different was the emphasis on sports While stateside the obsessions involved baseball football the oblong American kind and basketball over there it was just football the round rest of the world kind George Best was the flashy Irish superstar at Manchester United who was Joe Namath Mickey Mantle and Dr J all wrapped into one In their play acting matches there was fierce competition for who got to be him Paddy s little brother Francis aka Sinbad opted out of that role preferring to be one of the less celebrated players I figured it said a lot about the brother relationship that Paddy always worked every advantage to appear the dominant star whereas Sinbad was happy to play an ancillary role creatively feeding the ball to the scorers ending up responsible for the results even if less recognized The fact that Paddy acknowledged Sinbad s sacrifice and cleverness was meaningful since we saw only the antagonism prior to that point George Best also featured in another story when Paddy s da bought him a cherished copy of Best s book autographed by the man himself Or was itPaddy s vignettes did not constitute a plot per se They were closer to stream of consciousness though a post Joycean variety where obfuscation was less of a goal Plus they built towards something of a climax an affecting realization The convergence of Paddy s growing maturity and empathy levels with his mum s tears and his da s sullen demeanor made him view Sinbad and his parents in a new way but begorra I shan t say Sl inte Paddy Sl inte Sinbad Your creator made me care That s something worthy of a toast in a St Patrick s Day tribute isn t it

Summary Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

When nothing happened it was really getting ready to happen Paddy Clarke senses that his world is about to change forever and not necessarily for the better When he realizes that his parents' marriage is falling apart Paddy stays up all night listening half believing that his vigil will ward off further fighting It doesn't work but it is sweet and sad that he believes it might Paddy's logic may be fuzzy but his heart is in the right place Jill Maru. A strikingly powerful portrait of a dysfunctional family and the boy acting as the glue holding it together Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is a nostalgic Irish novel with many profound themes hidden beneath childish innocence

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Ys; they're just a little bit restless They're always taking sides bullying each other and secretly wishing they didn't have to All they want is for something anything to happen Throughout the novel Paddy teeters on the nervous verge of adolescence In one scene Paddy tries to make his little brother's hot water bottle explode but gives up after stomping on it just one time I jumped on Sinbad's bottle Nothing happened I didn't do it again Sometimes. I am now into my final three Booker winners and this one left me somewhat in two minds I had never read Doyle before and always had a feeling that I wouldn t enjoy it that muchSo let us start with the positives Doyle s ability to inhabit the mindset of a boy who is ten at the end of the book is extraordinary and the final part of the book in which he watches his parents splitting up and falls out with the rather thuggish gang he has spent the rest of the book describing his part in is uite moving the title doesn t appear until the last two pages It was also interesting to see how the setting and character of the new suburb of Barrytown changed over the couple of years the story spans as new developments encroached on the fields and wastelands surrounding Paddy s homeOn the down side the narrative voice is so unpretentious that it verges on the monotonous and for most of the book Paddy is just not a very likeable protagonist It is told in a somewhat random stream of consciousness which perhaps reflects the way childhood memories workOverall I am uite glad that I read this one and I can see some of the reasons it won the prize but it didn t whet the appetite for reading Doyle The Freeze-Frame Revolution positives Doyle s ability to inhabit the mindset of a boy who is ten at the end of the book is extraordinary and the final The New-York Review, and Atheneum Magazine, Vol. 2 part of the book in which he watches his His Christmas Cowgirl (Wildflower Ranch part in is uite moving the title doesn t appear until the last two The Doctors Dating Bargain pages It was also interesting to see how the setting and character of the new suburb of Barrytown changed over the couple of years the story spans as new developments encroached on the fields and wastelands surrounding Paddy s homeOn the down side the narrative voice is so unpretentious that it verges on the monotonous and for most of the book Paddy is just not a very likeable The Collection protagonist It is told in a somewhat random stream of consciousness which Whispers of Feathers perhaps reflects the way childhood memories workOverall I am uite glad that I read this one and I can see some of the reasons it won the


10 thoughts on “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

  1. says:

    I hate to be facetious about this but it’s true I love to read good books as much as I love to discover which ones are actual impostors—that is which ones are overrated past the norm books like “On the Road” “Catcher in the Rye” or anything by Ayn Rand Yuck Well this one won the Booker which I can only guess is a HUGE deal But I guess the year this book was published there were a few other if any contenders

  2. says:

    I hate to think that I’m susceptible to some merchandiser’s power of suggestion but as soon as hearts and Cupids give way to shamrocks and leprechauns typically Feb 15 my thoughts often turn towards the Emerald Isle Of course when the lovely lass I married accompanied me there last year to celebrate a round n

  3. says:

    I was first introduced to Roddy Doyle’s stories when I went to see the movie based on his book The Commitments and then later on read his book The Guts which follows the characters in The Commitments and then following that sever

  4. says:

    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha reminded me of another famous Irish novel Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy Both are narrated by a young boys who grow up in Ireland during the 1960's and both make use of vernacular and local folklore The Butcher Boy was shortlisted for the Booker in 1992 and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha won it in 1993But don't be dissuaded from reading Paddy Clarke by thinking that it's of the same both books are novels of childhood in the

  5. says:

    This was much better than I had expected based on other reviews and I think expectation is everything with this novel It's not really a story with a plot and the characters experience little in the way of change or developme

  6. says:

    I am now into my final three Booker winners and this one left me somewhat in two minds I had never read Doyle before and always had a feeling that I wouldn't enjoy it that muchSo let us start with the positives Doyle's ability to inhabit the mindset of a boy who is ten at the end of the book is extraordinary and the final part of

  7. says:

    Rodd

  8. says:

    I've read a lot of books and I can tell you there isn't one out there that captures a childhood or the perspective from a 10 year old child better than this oneNot just any childhood and certainly not any in 2014 in a midd

  9. says:

    A strikingly powerful portrait of a dysfunctional family and the boy acting as the glue holding it together Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is a nostalgic Irish novel with many profound themes hidden beneath childish innocence

  10. says:

    Booker Prize Winner Paddy Clarke HA HA HA by Roddy Doyle was a bit disappointing as I expected so much Doyle is the author of books such as The Commitments The Snapper and The Van In fact The Van is one of the funniest books I’ve readExpectations were high with this story of life in Barrytown Dublin sometime in the late 1960s Most

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