- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 Jun. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0749397357
- ISBN-13: 978-0749397357
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha Paperback – 1 Jun 1994
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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 boys; 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 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 Marquis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Gloriously triumphant...confirms Doyle as the best novelist of his generation" (Nick Hornby Literary Review)
"Truthful, hilarious, painfully sad" (Tom Shone Spectator)
"A superb recreation of childhood" (Dermot Bolger)
"This is one of the most compelling novels I've read in ages, a triumph of style and perception" (Joseph O' Connor Irish Times)
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Top Customer Reviews
The book has some hilarious moments, but never tries to be a comedy. It also has some tragic moments, which are treated lightly because of Paddy's minimal grasp of the adult world. He has many flaws which are obvious to the reader but hidden from his own view.
Possibly the best book I have ever read.
The book follows little Paddy Clarke as he reflects on life. He is a kid and so the story jumps for serious to trivial in the space of a paragraph. He is a smart kid though so you end up laughing out loud constantly at the scrapes he gets into. I was once a little boy and the unflinching cruelty that their ignorance can bring out is captured superbly by Doyle. This is no sentimentalising of childhood. Clarke is a little brat at times.
As the novel progresses we get to see a child's eye view of the breakup of a marriage and the effect that this has on the world the protagonist lives in. It is done with real expertise. I have read some reviews that had difficulty with the plot-less-ness of the book, but for me Paddy is the subject. He is a boy who is telling us how things are. Of course he won't be able to impose a plot on events.
Its a typically witty, warm and insightful read from Doyle's Barrytown days. You'll love it.
The early part of the novel can seem confusing, with no clear chronological structure. In one paragraph, Paddy is being stung by stinging nettles - in the next, he is at home learning about fingerprints from his "da". Yet, do not let this dissuade you. After the first dozen pages, it is clear that Doyle mixes up time periods and key events - an effective technique that portrays the confusion of Paddy about his parents' deteriorating relationship. The lack of ordered structure only increases the empathy felt for Paddy in this moving story.
Despite addressing somewhat serious matters, Doyle includes snippets of child-like humor throughout, which will not fail to make you smile. Doyle's incorporation of humor will have you reminiscing about your own childhood memories - the games you played, the nicknames you made, and the adventures you had. He captures innocence in a way that will make you want to protect Paddy from the harsh realities of life, be his friend.
Whilst this is not necessarily an "I-can't-wait-to-get-home-and-read-it" book, it is nevertheless compelling when you do pick it up and start reading. Doyle involves the reader in Paddy's life, narrating it from his point of view, and allowing us to see his inner thoughts and feelings. The closer you near the end of the book, the clearer it is that Paddy's home life has changed him from a boy who was once scared of the dark, to one who, in "pitch black ... still wasn't scared". This is a novel that will certainly appeal to readers looking for an emotional escapade.
It was Roddy Doyle's 4th novel and the only one to have won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 1993. The novel is totally unique, inspiring, but heartbreaking all in one. Some key themes from `Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha' are explored in Doyle's other novels but this novel still retains the individuality and originality that it deserves.
The story is delivered through the fictional character of Paddy Clarke and alongside delivers; a boyish charm and the uncertainties that he faces. The novels style is captivating in its individual writing style as it does not use the literary convention of chapters to divide up the book but a series of scenes which Paddy recalls in no chronological order. The structure reinforces the child narrator, and develops the idea of him being inexperienced.
The story line initially represents Paddy as a happy-go-lucky child with an imagination larger than life. The child-like nature of the book is beautifully conveyed by the vivid language of Paddy and his gang; staging a Viking funeral for a rat, the fires started, and the robbing of women's magazines; not because they wanted them but, because they were the easiest to take without being caught. The frequent use of Irish colloquialisms placed me, as the reader, back in 1968, in Barrytown.
Tragically, as the narrative develops, Paddy's child-like qualities are replaced with worry and sorrow. The deteriorating relationship of his `ma' and `da' retrieves a heartbreaking theme in the narrative. The night when which Paddy convinces himself that he can stop his parents arguing as long as he stays awake all night, is particularly distressing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would not have read this book had it not been for the fact that it was a "Reading Group" choice. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mrs. J. Haines
I can see that this is a well written book. It has a certain charm but i did not enjoy it.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I think the charms of this particular book must have passed me by. This is the first book of his I've read although I never found anything that particularly appealed to me about... Read morePublished 10 months ago by keen reader