Joan's Reviews > Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
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Mar 15, 12


The most striking thing about this novel is that it does not really read like a novel. The voice is that of a 10 year old Irish boy growing up in the 1960s. He narrates his life in a colloquial stream of consciousness narrative that is often disjointed, in the way that a child might jump from one incident to another without smooth transitions or a discernible plot. Paddy Clarke’s rough and tumble boyhood is marked by his often harsh interactions with his peers and his little brother. But the most painful part of the story is the gradual disintegration of his parents’ marriage. Paddy does not understand what is happening between his parents. He attempts to make sense of and magically ward off the escalating conflict. Doyle’s achievement in this novel is that he enables the reader to experience parental fighting and estrangement from a child’s perspective.
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