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Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha [Paperback]

Roddy Doyle
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 1994
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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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 Jun 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749397357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749397357
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I had only read one Roddy Doyle short story before picking up 'Paddy Clarke...', and now I'm addicted. Doyle manages to write so convincingly from the perspective of a ten-year-old that it's impossible to put this book down. It isn't just the language (and the use of native terms is only a small stumbling block), but he also captures the mannerisms and thoughts so accurately. What results is a book that reminds you of your own childhood, the fun things, the scary things and the incomprehensible things. Paddy's bewilderment at grown-ups behaviour is explained through the application of child's logic - he is forever asking "Why?", and never gets an answer.
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roddy Doyle - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha... 19 Oct 2003
This is a unique book, which describes with great detail the world around a young irish boy, and how he perceives it. Full of heart warming humour, family hardships and his realtionships with other people. Roddy Doyle has done something very unique with this book, we are understanding the world in which we live as a young boy. We go through the rigours of childhood such as games, school, friends and ofcourse mischief. The book is not continuous and the author jumps from school to playing with his friends quite suddenly, this may be found to some to be difficult to understand, however throughout the story there is one thing which remains constant and that is how he learns more about the world around him and we see relationships develop. This book has only been given four stars due to the sometimes unexpected stark changes in story, however the ability of the book to actually put you in the mind of the boy is something many other authors are unable to achieve. You will find it hard to put down as you become gradually more engrossed with the boys life and his constantly changing opinions of the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It restored the word "gick" to my vocabulary 22 Jan 2007
Classic Doyle. I've wanted to read this book for over 10 years and I finally got around to it this weekend. It is a superb insight into the mind of a young boy, but it is set in a Dublin that has long since vanished and typically Doyle manages to communicate so much through his dialogue.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional escapade... 29 Dec 2009
It is understandable why Roddy Doyle's fourth novel, `Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha', was awarded the 1993 Man Booker prize. Despite initially being a tale about a young boy's "fun and adventure" during 1960's Ireland, the novel expresses deeper meaning, conveying the drastic effect family life can have on a child.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work 28 Sep 2007
I found this book rather hard going to read as it seems to me very disjointed and doesn't flow well. The insights into childhood are great and the dialogue is cracking on the whole but somehow the lack of plot means that the book just doesn't get going. My least favourite of the Barrytown triolgy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Infectious, Nostalgic, Authentic
Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize-winning 1993 novel is a quite remarkable piece of fiction. Strangely enough 'fiction' could almost be regarded as something of a misnomer to describe... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Keith M
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing fantastic.
After reading "The woman who walked into doors" first I was very disapointed with this book as it jumped about too much for me.
Published 7 months ago by Jeff Sutherland
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this!
These books were described as in very good condition. I would not pay more than 50p for them at a car boot sale. They are tatty, the covers look and feel grotty. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. T. Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant as my era so close to my heart
Brilliantly written through the mind of a ten-year-old boy who is discovering the world with great appetite. Read more
Published 9 months ago by realbookreview
1.0 out of 5 stars 80% Juvenile Drivel
Told from the child's point of view, I just could not get on with the random and pointless relation of an Irish ten year old's juvenile delinquency. Read more
Published 9 months ago by JW
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB
Was like reliving my childhood. I could identify very much with the story and the surroundings as described by Paddy Doyle. A great read.
Published 10 months ago by Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars very funny book it's like your in the home with them
there is nothing to dislike about this book it's one of the best if you want a laugh this is the one
Published 10 months ago by lesley simms
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I do love Roddy Doyle and this book is as marvelous as all of his books! Great price and good conditions. I'm really satisfied!
Published 12 months ago by Rachele Salvatelli
3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and with a non-sequitur style
Its style of short episodes with no real structure gets very frustrating, it means it is hard to get into and I often find my mind is wondering due to its writing style - an... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Blackdog
4.0 out of 5 stars A ten year old's staccato musings
Recently I was infuriated by 'Hideous Kinky,' a novel purporting to be narrated by a five year old girl. Linguistically all wrong, the story fell down due to these discrepancies. Read more
Published 14 months ago by jimidimi
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