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Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  20,594 ratings  ·  924 reviews
Il est la terreur de l'école municipale de Barrytown, un quartier sordide à la périphérie de Dublin dans les années 1960. Son nom Paddy Clarke. Fan de Geronimo, ce gamin occupe son temps à imaginer les pires tours. Mais le garnement a un secret. Chez les Clarke, l'heure n'est pas à la concorde. Entre Sindbad, son cadet au mutisme inquiétant, et les disputes incessantes de ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published June 4th 1998 by Editions 10/18 (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  20,594 ratings  ·  924 reviews

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Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I hate to be facetious about this, but it’s true. I love to read good books as much as I love to discover which ones are actual impostors—that is, which ones are overrated past the norm, books like “On the Road,” “Catcher in the Rye,” or anything by Ayn Rand. Yuck. Well, this one won the Booker, which I can only guess is a HUGE deal. But I guess the year this book was published there were a few other, if any, contenders for the top prize.

It’s certainly not awful. It’s actually entertaining, read
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I hate to think that I’m susceptible to some merchandiser’s power of suggestion, but as soon as hearts and Cupids give way to shamrocks and leprechauns (typically Feb. 15), my thoughts often turn towards the Emerald Isle. Of course, when the lovely lass I married accompanied me there last year to celebrate a round-number anniversary, I can be forgiven for thinking about it even more, right? Beyond the history, scenery, culture, silver-tongued locals and tasty libations, there’s the draw of their ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha reminded me of another famous Irish novel, Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy. Both are narrated by a young boys who grow up in Ireland during the 1960's, and both make use of vernacular and local folklore. The Butcher Boy was shortlisted for the Booker in 1992, and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha won it in 1993.

But don't be dissuaded from reading Paddy Clarke... by thinking that it's more of the same - both books are novels of childhood in the same country at roughly the same time, bu
I was first introduced to Roddy Doyle’s stories when I went to see the movie based on his book The Commitments, and then later on read his book The Guts, which follows the characters in The Commitments, and then following that several years later read The Star Dogs: Beyond the Stars, a short book written for younger readers about the Soviet space dogs.

This story takes place in Barrytown, Dublin, but the antics of these young boys could have taken place in just about anyplace where a small town
This was much better than I had expected, based on other reviews, and I think expectation is everything with this novel. It's not really a story with a plot, and the characters experience little in the way of change or development. And it’s not quite a stream of consciousness, either. It’s kind of a mix of impressions and dialogue; the world seen through the mind of its young protagonist. The experience reminded me a bit of Gaddis’s JR, and I think the best way to read this kind of impressionist ...more
I am now into my final three Booker winners, and this one left me somewhat in two minds. I had never read Doyle before and always had a feeling that I wouldn't enjoy it that much.

So let us start with the positives. Doyle's ability to inhabit the mindset of a boy who is ten at the end of the book is extraordinary, and the final part of the book in which he watches his parents splitting up and falls out with the rather thuggish gang he has spent the rest of the book describing his part in is quite
I've read a lot of books, and I can tell you, there isn't one out there that captures a childhood, or the perspective from a 10-year-old child, better than this one.

Not just any childhood, and certainly not any in 2014 in a middle-class or affluent neighborhood, where the children can now be found indoors, and in silence, save the hum of their tv or computer.

This is a childhood set in Ireland, but these are the childhoods that many of us (before, say 1985) experienced in our own lower and middle
Paul Bryant
Apr 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels, bookers, abandoned
Roddy Doyle is a wonderful comic writer - The Commitments and The Snapper are both Recommended - but this one is off-the-scale irritating. People who finish it and even actually like it clearly love kids way more than I do.
Mark Porton
Booker Prize Winner Paddy Clarke HA HA HA by Roddy Doyle was a bit disappointing, as I expected so much more. Doyle is the author of books such as The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van. In fact, The Van is one of the funniest books I’ve read.

Expectations were high with this story of life in Barrytown, Dublin sometime in the late 1960s. Most of the story is taken up by the exploits of him and his mates, their time at school and life at home with Ma and Da and younger brother Francis (Sinbad) a
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzy by: St. Patrick!
Doyle, one of my favorite authors, nails the stream-of-consciousness of a young boy, Paddy Clarke of the title. While not exactly spelled out, I think Paddy, our narrator, is about 8 when the book starts and 10 when it finishes. He and his mate Kevin are the defacto leaders of a band of boys who rove a developing subdivision in late 1960's Ireland, wreaking havoc on themselves and anyone who might be in their way. I kept picturing the antics of my two younger brothers in our developing subdivisi ...more
Paul E. Morph
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this about seven years ago when I was under the impression it was a stand-alone novel. I recently discovered (from the author's Wikipedia page) that it's actually considered to be the fourth book of his Barrytown series. Hmm. I guess it is, in the sense that it takes place in Barrytown, but it's set almost two decades before the first book in the series, so I suppose you could think of it as a prequel, and it features none of the characters from the other Barrytown books, so it's lo ...more
Richard Derus
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Rating: An irritable 3* of five


Books written in the voice of a child had best use that technique for a reason...the child's perspective becomes wearing unless there is some very, very compelling narrative reason to make us follow a kid around without wanting to scream blue murder after a while.

I don't find any such compelling reason in this book. I don't find anything compelling at all in this book, as a matter of fact.

Ireland sounds damned good and dreary, and I am rethinking my desire to v
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: man-booker-prize
I really enjoyed this novel and the author really nailed the voice of Patrick our protagonist. I found all of the characters compelling.

But the story lacks a plot beyond the life of a pre-teen boy in Ireland who is endlessly involved in minor mischief. The novel would have benefited from a seismic outside event or perhaps just more drama. This novel reminded me of World’s Fair by Doctorow, not quite that masterful but in the ball park.

4 stars. Solid recommendation, quick read.
James Barker
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
A few weeks ago I was infuriated by 'Hideous Kinky,' a novel purporting to be narrated by a five year old girl. Linguistically all wrong, the story fell down due to these discrepancies. Happily, 'Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha,' told from the POV of a ten year old boy, is a masterclass of perception and imaginative writing. This is a boy's voice speaking about the things within his frame of reference, staccato musings that centre on family and its comforts and agonies, the hierarchy of friends and school ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Abandoned :(
Child protagonists annoy me anyway.
Just found this ramblings of a young irish lad
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Patrick "Paddy" Clarke is a 10-year-old boy growing up in 1960s Ireland who has good and bad times with his friends, loves and hates his little brother (and has no use for his baby sisters because they don't do anything worthwhile yet), tells lies to his friends and his teachers in order to gain their appreciation and respect, and who wants nothing more than to understand (and fix) the problems that begin to erupt between his parents. As an oldest child he feels it his position to protect his yo ...more
Ola Cader
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This is one of the very few books I've read twice, and the only one I liked even more when reading it for the second time.
When I was reading Paula Spencer I was thinking that Roddy Doyle must have spent hours talking to women, or rather listening to them. Reading Paddy Clarke... made me think he must have spent hours listening to children. I really appreciate books where child characters seem so real, because few people are willing to listen to what kids really have to say.
I love Roddy Doyle f
Vit Babenco
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
When we were small kids here we behaved the same way – we lit fires, we built huts, our life was playing games and learning through them.
“I wanted to be hard. I wanted to wear plastic sandals, smack them off the ground and dare anyone to look at me.”
We also fought and we dreamt to become hard…
The novel is good and it is a plausible immersion into a kid’s world but at times it seemed to be a little bit too static.
Linda Lipko
Sep 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 sibl
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2005
I'm very glad I found Roddy Doyle. (Thanx Nick Hornby and Speaking to the Angels.) Cause Paddy Clarke HaHaHa is just like I like a book. It reminds me a lot of Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, one of my favorite books. One of the books I truly love. They've got more in common than the comic style. They're both about Irish childhoods. Frankie McCourt's in the late 30s and early 40s. Paddy Clarke's in the late 60s. "It is 1968. Paddy Clarke is 10 years old, breathless with discovery." Writes Irish ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker
"I didn't listen to them. They were just kids"
Says 10 year old Paddy Clarke about his friends from whom he has decided to move on. He stays awake all night to make sure his Ma and Da are not fighting. He stares at complete darkness (of the iron table) to get over his fear and be grown up. And the change is unhurried, uncomplicated and totally believable from the Point of view of a 10 year old.

The book is a haphazard series of memories, events and thoughts of a 10 year old boy from the fictional
Dec 31, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Booker Prize Yahoo group
Shelves: c20th, ireland
It took me much longer than it should have to finish this slight, inconsequential novel. It won the Booker in 1993, but it's a bit of a mystery why that was so. I would have given the prize to Remembering Babylon by David Malouf, a much better and more significant book in every way.

Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha is written in the voice of Paddy, nine years old in the 1960s, watching The Man From UNCLE on TV and observing his parents' marriage break up. It's impressionistic, with (paraphrasing Jung here, t
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Marci Simkulet
This review was written in the late nineties (just for myself), and it was buried in amongst my things until today, when I uncovered the journal it was written in. I have transcribed it verbatim (although square brackets indicate some additional information for readability) from all those years ago. It is one of my lost reviews.

When I tell others about this novel I talk about Roddy Doyle's voice and how he captures the thought patterns of children so well; I mention certain tales Patrick tells,
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, the 1993 Booker Prize Winner, is no Ha Ha Ha story even though there is no lack of Ha Ha Ha moments, as you cannot help but be entertained by the antics of a bunch of 10-year-old boys. Roddy Doyle brilliantly captured the psychology of children and created a credible world of childhood play and dialogue that rang true and real. Paddy and his little brother, Sinbad, spent their school day enduring the tyranny of less than inspiring teachers who could all but “kill” them. Th ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tutto-doyle
How much the point of view changes with age! I read the italian translation the year it was published, and I loved it. Moreover, it was a present from a friend of mine and I also loved the time and effort she put into looking for a book that could meet my taste.
23 years later (oh my god!) I really want to give Paddy and his gang a good spanking. I don't think it is just me, though: a lot of things he could have got away with in 1993 fall today under the category of bullying. But when you realize
Bryan--Pumpkin Connoisseur
I am not generally a fan of coming-of-age stories--they can be poignant, sometimes excruciating, even transcendent (or, at worst, a kind of wallowing), but, in the end, I don't really respond to them unless there is some other aspect of life that they address at the same time. I was on the fence about Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha, a first-person account of a ten-year-old Irish lad growing up in the late 60s in Ireland, for a lot of the book, but what I realized by the end was that Doyle was not only a ...more
Ali Nazifpour
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most compelling novels I have ever read. Certainly no other book I've seen captures the voice of a child narrator so faithfully, and so strikingly. The book doesn't censor the ugly realities of childhood, and it doesn't shade over the innocence of Patrick, a young boy at the same time cruel and sweet, in a world much bigger than him and with life happening while he comprehends almost nothing. ...more
Eddie Owens
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica F
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I guess a lot of people found this book kind of boring or pointless. Well, you're all wrong!

The way I see it, this book is Lord of the Flies, minus the island*. It's all about power dynamics, the subtle ways they're developed and upheld, and the way they shift, tectonically slow, until something gives way and everything changes.

First there's the power struggle between the mother and father. Since this is all from the kid's perspective, we don't see exactly what's happening between them, but it
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This book won the 1993 Booker Prize. I tend to love Irish authors and books like this one, in which I can hear the brogue in the dialog. This book did a wonderful job of putting the reader in the reality of boys ages 8 to 10 and their relationships. The reader is fully immersed in their neighborhood and given a strong sense of place throughout the novel. The reader gets insight into the bullying (even toward beloved pals and siblings), petty crimes, and other stunts pulled by the main characters ...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

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