13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A compelling and intuitive account of childhood. Brilliant.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Paperback)
Having never read any of Doyle's novels prior to 'Paddy Clarke', I appoached this book with a certain naivety. I recall beginning this book on a crowded tube train and realising, almost immediately, that it was to be a novel of much depth and would require considerable concentration.
The tale is told by a ten-year-old boy called Patrick Clarke and is set, as you would expect, in Dublin. It soon becomes apparent that to successfully navigate this book you must first learn to appreciate some genuine Gaelic lingo. This doesn't present too much of a problem as the learning process only adds to the enjoyment of the book.
The account of Paddy's outlook on life conveys us back in time to an age when the world's greatest woes were classroom quarrels and would you make the under 11's football team this year. It's a truely nostalgic distraction from the troubles of adult life; it's the childhood we try to convince ourselves that we've left behind, but never leaves us fully.
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is both hilarious and painfully tragic. It's an artful mix of warm-hearted humour and the trials of family life. Brilliantly written, Doyle portrays Paddy's endeavours in an enchanting, captivating and, sometimes, blatantly painful manner. This makes a recipe for a novel you just can't put down and puts in perspective the things we truely need to cherish.