Adventures in Reading


Revisited: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Prior to Adventures in Reading, I had started writing the odd review/summary. Now to try and gather them all to one location and to compensate for my loss of reading time with my Spanish course, I’m going to post the old reviews and revisit them. I’ve commented before that my opinions of the books are always quite biased to the time of writing, and so I’m also looking at this as a project of my own opinion.

My second Roddy Doyle read and it was no less impressive than the first. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is the story of a 10-year-old boy growing up in Ireland. His experiences range from boyhood friendships to the classroom to his parent’s domestic disputes. Doyle is immensely talented and consistently manages to embrace his characters and represent them in a nearly too real fashion. Paddy Clarke not only feels like it’s a story of a 10-year-old boy but is specifically narrated by a 10-year-old boy and by the end of the book one has to wonder “Doyle, who’s he?” Doyle’s narrative is addicting and moving and I had to have spent half the book asking people, “Do you remember when…” A definite must read for everyone.

I have adored everything that I’ve read by Roddy Doyle and since Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha I’ve read his chapter in Click and his short story collection The Deportees. While I’m not sure if I would call it a “must read” in retrospect, I would say Doyle is an author everyone should read at least once in a lifetime. His novels are funny and engaging, and my collection is steadily growing.

Other opinions: Nymeth.