The habit of murder becomes a hard one to break; the hero of Roddy Doyle's novel of the Irish War of Independence, like his father before him, kills to order and kills in cold blood. Where his father was simply the one-legged bouncer at a brothel, whose employers used him for any killing that needs to be done, Henry has motives. Growing up on the street, taught his letters by James Connolly, he believes in not just Irish freedom, but workers' revolution. He learns the hard way that his pious middle-class masters do not have this in mind.
A Star Called Henry--passionate, angry, darkly and wildly comic--has something in it to offend everybody. His stirring, deeply anti-romantic, account of the siege of the Dublin Post Office during the Easter Rising is remarkable, but hardly less so is his account of life on the Dublin docks, or Henry's treks around the countryside as one of Michael Collins' hard men, teaching guerrilla warfare to dairy farmers and clerks. The love affair between Henry and his equally blood-thirsty teacher and wife Miss O'Shea is sweet and touching. The first volume of a trilogy, this is a radical departure for Doyle, and a stunning success. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is really a masterpiece" (Irish Times
"This is Ireland's most famous living writer tackling one of the most crucial periods in its history... A Star Called Henry
has all the hallmarks of the start of a major literary portrayal of a national experience" (Guardian
"A vibrant work of fiction - In Doyle's ambidextrous hands, the making of modern Ireland gets a vigorous and illuminating run-down" (Independent
"Doyle just gets better and better... This is history evoked on an intimate, and yet earth-shaking scale, with a driving narrative that never falters. Maybe the Great American Novel remains to be written, but on the evidence of its first instalment - this is the epic Irish one, created at a high pitch of eloquence" (Publisher's Weekly
"The energy and full-blooded dialogue of Doyle's creations are as much in evidence here as in the best of his previous work- A Star Called Henry
is billed as Volume One of The Last Roundup
. It is an exhilarating beginning" (Daily Telegraph