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The Dead Republic (The Last Roundup #3)

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  623 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
The triumphant conclusion to the trilogy that began with A Star Called Henry

Roddy Doyle's irrepressible Irish rebel Henry Smart is back-and he is not mellowing with age. Saved from death in California's Monument Valley by none other than Henry Fonda, he ends up in Hollywood collaborating with legendary director John Ford on a script based on his life. Returning to Irelan
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Viking Adult (first published 2010)
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Not the Booker Prize 2010
35th out of 86 books — 166 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,309)
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Jan 21, 2013 Spiros rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those in search of a good yarn
Shelves: bins
Many years passed between my reading of the first two books of this trilogy, A Star Called Henry and Oh, Play That Thing, and my digging this out of our bargain bins at work. Here's what I remember about Henry Smart: he grew up in extreme poverty in Dublin, joined the IRA at an early age, took part in the Easter Rising in 1916, married his former schoolteacher, the ravishing Miss O'Shea, fought at her side during the Civil War, became a political liability to the new government, fled with Miss O ...more
Jun 01, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
The third in a trilogy -- and the only one in the series I've read -- picks up the later life of Henry Smart, an IRA hero, first in cahoots with Hollywood director John Ford, later as the mascot/totem/source-of-legitimacy for 1980s-1990s provisionals (though he is not exactly who they think he is). I was not really clear how the two halves of the book related to one another until right at the end (the IRA had been image-making via Smart even during the Ford section, though we don't find out abou ...more
Apr 25, 2010 Margareta rated it really liked it
Pros and cons:
I can only see one minus in the story, which to me is the first part of the book. I found that part (if you don't mind me saying) cold and hard to get in sink with the hero of the story. I do anderstand that that's the part when Henry is not himself and is trying to remember and find himself. After reading little more then 100 pages I started warming up to our hero, and from that point on I could not put the book down. I would like to see little warm parts of the hero before page 1
Jun 16, 2014 Stefano rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Di Roddy Doyle ho letto quasi tutti i libri, anche quelli per l'infanzia.
Adoro il suo spirito, la sua capacità di narrare storie divertenti e drammatiche, mescolando un sapore agrodolce a personaggi realmente vivi e tridimensionali. Mi ha deluso solo poche volte. Anzi, l'unico libro che non ho apprezzato moltissimo è stato Una stella di nome Henry. Al punto che non ho mai comprato il seguito (che, vado a memoria, si intitola Un volto già visto o qualcosa di simile). Complice un po' di trascurat
Mar 26, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes Ireland. Overall the books are fun and maintain a light hearted air even though they are dealing with assassins, revolution, losing ones family, and all sorts of heavy things.

In this book Henry Smart makes his return to Ireland where danger lurks at every turn. There is lots of reminiscing about his involvement in the 1916 revolution, but as time goes on he gets more and more involved in the 1980s IRA action (as a very old man). His relationshi
Mar 26, 2014 Charles rated it liked it
This 3rd book in the trilogy about Henry Smart & the IRA follows from his return to Ireland, and his reconnection to the IRA, after being injured in an explosion set off by Unionists. For the IRA he becomes a tool to motivate new recruits-by being presented as a main figure of the 1916 Easter uprising & the battle of the GPO, and as one of the initial MPs of the Irish parliament(which he was not). He enjoys the role of being moved around both South & North Ireland, and presented as a ...more
Paul Gleason
Jan 19, 2015 Paul Gleason rated it it was ok
The final installment in Doyle's trilogy is a bit of a mess.

For starters, the inclusion of the Ford material at the beginning of the book doesn't allow Doyle's minimalist, speedy prose and plot to pull the reader in at the outset. This means that the first 100 pages or so are a bit of a slog, even though they set up Henry as a metafictional protagonist (even more so than in the other two volumes). He's the creator and "star" of his own life.

Existentialist? No.

Metafictional? Yes.

In the first pa
Wim Chielens
Oct 05, 2015 Wim Chielens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gelezen-2015
Dit is deel 3 van de Henry Smart-trilogie, maar sluit eigenlijk het meest aan bij het eerste deel: "A star called Henry". Dat boek benaderde naar mijn gevoel de perfectie en zou van mij 6 sterren krijgen als die zouden bestaan. Geen wonder dat een vervolg altijd een tikje tegenvalt. Een tikje, want Henry Smart blijft een "star". Het is een volkse jongen die bijna op zijn Forrest Gumps (maar veel geloofwaardiger en bijlange niet zo geforceerd) een belangrijke rol speelt in de Ierse (republikeinse ...more
Andrew Wood
Jun 07, 2014 Andrew Wood rated it liked it
I loved A Star Called Henry, skipped the next in the series due to poor reviews, and came to this one.
I enjoyed the first chapters, especially the way that the intervening (lost) years of Henry Smart are gradually filled in or just hinted at. The telling of Henry's relationship with major movie director/producer John Ford and his enotourage of stars such as John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara etc is clever and absorbing.
Unfortunately, once Henry is plonked back in Ireland, the plot becomes non existant.
Dec 16, 2013 D.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would have been nearly impossible for Roddy Doyle to have maintained the frenetic pace (and possibly the high quality) of his history of Ireland in the 20th century as seen in the person of Henry Salt, The Last Roundup. That may be intentional and in the long run for the best, as this final chapter of Salt's saga joins him as he starts to feel the strain of his own tempestuous history and the speed with which we've been given the two previous books would have been noticeably out of place.
At t
Tim Slavin
Mar 04, 2011 Tim Slavin rated it really liked it
Being type-A, I simply must finish Roddy Doyle's trilogy, "The Last Round-Up." The first of the series was marvelous. The second was, conversely, simply not very good. I understand from other reviews that the last, "The Dead Republic," will save the set from the trash bin of the "not recommended."

I have now finished "The Dead Republic." The first half of this volume finishing Doyle's trilogy was as generally unimpressive as the second of the series. However, the last half was completely the oppo
Dec 24, 2010 Frank rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-authors
The Dead Republic is the third installment in a trilogy, the second part of which I did not read. I was heartened by various reviews that the book could stand alone, and while I was very glad that I'd read the initial installment (A Star Called Henry, 1999, which I enjoyed immensely), I seemed to muddle through the references to the second book without too much trouble. I got off to a shaky start: the first section of the book is set in Los Angeles and Monument Valley, Utah, where the narrator, ...more
May 03, 2010 Tom rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Question one: You are a former Irish Republican Army hit man. A famous director (John Ford) wants to make a movie about your life, only he changes everything. What do you do?
Question two: You’re a former IRA hit man who had to change you identity and go into hiding to avoid being on the receiving end of a no-come-back job. Will you ever be able to reassemble your former life? Not the wet work, but the relationships with your wife and two children.
In THE DEAD REPUBLIC, Doyle reintroduced Henry
Ron Charles
Dec 19, 2013 Ron Charles rated it liked it
Roddy Doyle's trilogy about the fight for Irish independence in the 20th century exploded in 1999 with its incandescent first volume, A Star Called Henry. Full of violence and blarney and harrowing escapes, the novel opens in 1901 with the birth of Henry Smart, who quickly grows into a ferocious killer and a hilariously voracious lover (with an ego as big as Dublin). Doyle had already garnered a broad audience with "The Commitments" (1987) and won a Booker Prize for "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" (1993 ...more
Calvin Allen
The closing part of Roddy Doyle's trilogy of the 20th century history of Ireland as evidenced through Henry Smart, his larger than life hero, was published last April to no great acclaim, it has to be said: newspaper reviews were not particularly favourable while, so far, the UK Amazon site has an unprecedentedly low number of reviews (three) for a book by a major author. It took me more than six months to discover it - and I have had an eye out for it over the past few years since the publicati ...more
Robert Strandquist
May 10, 2012 Robert Strandquist rated it really liked it
Shelves: while-in-belgium
Despite not having read the first two of this trilogy, this one is a solid novel on its own due to the omnipresent past of Ireland's Troubles participating like an active character. The two halves of this tale are connected on a thin line drawn between Hollywood, California and the holy land of Ireland where director John Ford moves his film crew to shoot the story of Henry Smart, the protagonist of the trilogy. This connection sort of works because Ford did shoot his Academy Award winnning "The ...more
Becky Norman
Oct 13, 2013 Becky Norman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been following Roddy Doyle since Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha (and thoroughly enjoyed the Barrytown trilogy that came before) but I've been finding this series on the struggle for Ireland's independence a bit of a ... struggle. The issue for me is that Henry Smart is not a particularly likeable character - although in true Doyle style, the dark wit and storytelling still engages the reader. I liked The Dead Republic better than the others in the series - it feels as though Henry has grown up a touc ...more
Clodia Metelli
I loved the first book, A Star Called Henry, I've missed the second book in the trilogy Oh, Play That Thing and now just completed the final volume. I was fairly gripped, while reading it, Doyle's voice is always engaging with his ear for dialogue and his humour. In this book Henry Smart, the mythic hero slowly turns to frail old man, part of Ireland's history as a participant in the Easter Rising, but with shady secrets that could undermine the glory.

The story of the iconic status of the agein
Jun 30, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in life in Ireland.
I didn't read the book jacket. I should have. I would have prefered to read the two prequils in this trilogy. I like Roddy Doyle. I loved Paddy Clarke Ha Ha. I read it when I was challenging myself by reading good works written in patois (i.e. Toni Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid, etc.).
The first quarter or third of this novel is a tough read. I was uncomfortable. Probably no more, however, than the protagonist, Henry Smart, who is narrating the story. His amnesia, confusion, and idosyncrisies are
Jan 07, 2011 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: irish
Although fictional, this book made me think of what it must truly be like for individuals who were part of the IRA movement in the early part of the 20th century living in the last 30 years in Ireland. In particular, how strange it must have been for them to watch the next generations try out movements of their own including the hunger strikes of the 1980s. Further, what if you were in the IRA and every step you have ever taken had been engineered for you--in other words, you have been set up AL ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Charlotte rated it really liked it
**Spoiler Alert** I enjoyed this series, I really did. You definitely have to be in the right mindset to pick it up and curl up and read! In order, I adored A Star Called Henry, tolerated Play that Thing and enjoyed The Dead Republic. What a creative way to learn about Irish republicanism in the 20th century. Though at times Doyle's writing style was difficult to follow, it was also so very different that it kept you enthralled and you so very much wanted and waited for a happy ending! I loved t ...more
Apr 02, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I love Henry Smart and it was nice to see his story wrapped up, but it's difficult not to compare the sequels to A Star Called Henry, which I loved to bits. I do enjoy how Doyle plays with history though, this time cinematic history (The Quiet Man) and the political (the IRA hunger strikes). In this version, both have more in common than you'd think!
Sep 26, 2013 Andria rated it liked it
I just ... I don't know. I truly loved the first book of this trilogy, was a little disappointed in the second, and just really felt myself struggling through this. I don't know if that's the book or me, though. There was definitely still plenty of Henry Smart to love (and be infuriated with), but the part of Ireland's political strife that actually occurred during my lifetime was harder for me to understand in this context than the 1916 events of "A Star Called Henry." Maybe Doyle assumed his r ...more
Jun 06, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Much better than Oh Play That Thing and A Star Called Henry, the Dead Republic brings Henry's story up to the present day and redeems The Quiet Man as a film Irish Republicans use to motivate the troops with. A few implausibilities clutter the story, like the accidental reunion with his long lost wife. Other than that, though, there is just enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages in a Dublin accent, sure.
Vincent O'brien
Aug 01, 2012 Vincent O'brien rated it it was ok
roddy Doyle has written some great books that I would recommend to anyone, but this isn't one of them. I read the two previous novels in this trilogy and the first one, a Star Called Henry, was great. This final instalment is interesting, and I did feel, once I had decided to work at reading this, that I could identify with the main character. But although there were some really nice sections and the language, inlaces, was great and well up to Roddy Doyle's normal standard, on the whole it was a ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Jun 16, 2010 Bookmarks Magazine rated it liked it
Shelves: july-aug-2010
When it comes to books in a series, readers often differ as to which one is their favorite, and The Dead Republic is no exception. Several critics found the byzantine Irish politics and the slower pace (Henry is no longer a spry young assassin, after all) a bit of a letdown. But others greatly enjoyed Doyle's final entry, which, although less action-packed than the first two entries, offers a thought-provoking account of the mythology surrounding modern Irish history. To sum it up: Doyle's lates ...more
Annette Jordan
The end of the saga, and still without the magic of the first book, although with a little more of the old Henry sparkle once he came back to Ireland. While it is interesting to see him weave his way through history,even popping up in the Quiet Man, the story still feels a little disjointed , and spread out over too long a time frame.
I read it to finish the trilogy, but I would suggest other readers stop after book one.
Nov 17, 2013 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Star Called Henry is one of my favourite novels so I was really looking forward to this. It didn't disappoint although the first part did drag a little and was written in a rather peculiar style. Nevertheless, once the John Ford aspect of the novel was dealt with and Henry was back in Ireland it really started to deliver. Once again, I learned a lot and it was great to relive some of those dark days of my childhood (although I was in England watching it all on TV, not suffering in NI).
There is
Jul 10, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
A sobering conclusion to Doyle's trilogy. Violent and tender, the story traces the slow erosion of the revolutionary ideals of the Easter Uprising on nearly a century of cynical political realism and human frailty.

And yet something remains of the original spirit of Republicanism in Doyle's characters: their fierce love, loyalty and shame.

In many ways the troubles of the Smart family reflect the emotionally and geographically divided territories of Ireland itself.

The Dead Republic deftly explo
Alison Kenney
Jun 16, 2010 Alison Kenney rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. First of all, I love Roddy Doyle and his writing and really enjoyed the character conversations in this book. But I'm not sure how I felt about the plot -- there were more than a few times when I was sure it had jumped the shark and turned into the Forrest Gump story. I wasn't sure if Henry Smart was senile and imaging things (like being wire tapped and a spy). It was only at the end when Doyle adds a lot more detail on the Irish "troubles" that I realized ...more
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Roddy Doyle (Irish: Ruaidhrí Ó Dúill) is an Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter. Several of his books have been made into successful films, beginning with The Commitments in 1991. He won the Booker Prize in 1993.

Doyle grew up in Kilbarrack, Dublin. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from University College, Dublin. He spent several years as an English and geography teacher before becoming
More about Roddy Doyle...

Other Books in the Series

The Last Roundup (3 books)
  • A Star Called Henry
  • Oh, Play That Thing

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