Booknblues's Reviews > A Star Called Henry

A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle
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's review
Aug 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: ireland, historical-fiction
Read in March, 2011

Roddy Doyle spins a yarn about a brash youngster growing up in the worst of circumstances during the Irish War of Independence in his book A Star Called Henry. Henry was named for his father and dead brother who his mother tells him is a star in the sky. Henry's father has a wooden leg which Henry inherits when his father disappears and Henry ends up raising himself and his brother Victor by whatever means available to him.

While there are shades of Angela's Ashes in this book Henry Smart is more of a criminal than Frank McCourt ever dreamed of being. The book is about the fight for Irish independence told through Henry's perspective and Henry is a character who is big, strong, can pass for somebody 4 years older, has only to bat his lashes and a likely lass will offer him a bed, and is so slick he can get himself out of any bit of trouble.

The book is interesting and fast paced, but Henry is a bit of a male conceived Irish superhero, which of course is a bit of an anti hero and given that I had to roll my eyes just a bit as I read it.

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