Linda Lipko's Reviews > Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
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Sep 26, 2010

did not like it
Read in August, 2010

If anyone can answer my question, I'd love to know the answer. Why is it that books written by Irish authors or told about the Irish seem to consistently focus on a) drinking b) abuse c) poverty d) dysfunction???? Is there joy in Ireland?

While reviews are primarily positive about this book, for many reasons, I simply reacted to the fact that it was yet another angst filled tale of an Irish child witnessing cruelty, and acting out with cruelty, harming those around him, including his younger sibling.

It is 1968 and Paddy is ten years old, his father is drinking heavily, his mother is abused, his brother is a royal pain.

He and his band of friends roam the small town setting fires at building sites, entering forbidden areas while performing various and sundry cruel beatings and taunts to each other.

Written in a hard to follow stream of consciousness style, I had a difficult time absorbing the story line.

Simply stated, I didn't like this book and cannot recommend it.
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02/28 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Heather(Gibby) If anyone can answer my question, I'd love to know the answer. Why is it that books written by Irish authors or told about the Irish seem to consistently focus on a) drinking b) abuse c) poverty d) dysfunction???? Is there joy in Ireland?

I find many of maeve Binchy's books full of joy and I have past many a pleasant afternoon reading them. and then people criticize them for being "fluff"


Danny Lindsay The father wasn't a drinker. It was rare for him to be drunk in the house (kind of like the dad in How Green Was My Valley).


Librariasaurus Roddy Doyle is known for depicting humanity in a very unsentimental way. I think he has written reality and hasn't tried to make it warm and fuzzy at all.


Librariasaurus Roddy Doyle is known for depicting humanity in a very unsentimental way. I think he has written reality and hasn't tried to make it warm and fuzzy at all.


message 5: by Roxy (new) - added it

Roxy I haven't read this book (I'm reading the reviews in trying to decide if I want to), but I have read other Irish novels and have noticed a similar pattern. I think every country has it typical kind of book based on their history. Ireland has a very disruptive political history and so, of course, all the Irish writers want to showcase this, in the same way all American writers want to disillusion The American Dream and all South African writers write about the racial struggle of Apartheaid. It just comes with the territory.


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