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Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize-winning novel describes the world of ten-year-old Paddy Clarke, growing up in Barrytown, north Dublin. From fun and adventure on the streets, boredom in the classroom to increasing isolation at home, "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" is the story of a boy who sees everything but understands less and less.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749397357
ISBN-10: 0749397357
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » Booker Prize Winner 1993. Roddy Doyle is unsurpassed in the art of capturing living, breathing dialogue; the sort which makes you forget you're the reader and enlivens all your sympathies to the protagonist. We've all sworn we wouldn't forget the things that were important to us as children, but we all have. This novel opens up some of those old feelings of struggle, compromise and injustice. In Paddy's case as a ten-year-old witnessing the breakdown of his parents' marriage, these emotions are particularly poignant and pathetic. The eventual discovery of the relevance of the title is heartbreaking. A brilliant, haunting book - and very funny too. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Irish writer Doyle's fourth novel (The Van, The Snapper, etc.) - and the just-announced 1993 Booker Prize winner: a story that depicts with remarkable acuity that extraordinary intensity of response that is at the heart of childhood. Doyle, who's limned with wry affection the lives of families in Dublin's working-class neighborhoods, here makes ten-year-old Paddy Clarke of Barrytown, Dublin, his narrator. Barrytown, a suburb once on the edge of the city, is now increasingly surrounded by new public-housing projects - a situation that makes for a certain uneasiness since the Barrytowners themselves are barely holding onto their own hard-won middle-class respectability. But for Paddy, best friend Kevin, and the rest of the gang, these construction sites are the playgrounds of choice - rich sources of useful material and the perfect settings for mischief. Paddy, who lives with his three siblings and parents in a modest house - the only one with a room his mother insists on calling "the drawing room" - details in vivid colloquialisms his pranks, his dreams, and the wonderfully imaginative if harmlessly naughty games children devise when released from TV's bondage. Paddy is increasingly troubled, though, by the fear that he will, like friends Aidan and Charles, lose a parent. He loves his parents dearly and - aware of their fights, his mother's unhappiness, and his father's drinking - tries desperately to intervene, often staying awake all night ("I was on guard...all I had to do was stay awake..."). Preoccupied and unhappy, he plans to run away, but his father leaves first. And Paddy knows then that "tomorrow or the day after my ma was going to call me over to her and was going to say - You're the man of the house now, Patrick." Perhaps ton many anecdotes of boys beings boys, but Doyle has rendered childhood as it really is: a time of brutal absolutes, of boundless possibilities, and of dark, inconsolable griefs. A work of maturity and grace. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eight acclaimed novels and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

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