Bryan 's Reviews > Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it
bookshelves: books-i-read-in-2018, 2019-discards

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 able to capture the events around him, but was able to transmit all the ugliness of children as well as the mixture of fear and innocence. Not that I needed to know that there are ugly aspects of children--my wife is a school-bus driver...I hear about it all the time. But I don't know if anyone has been able to capture it as well as Doyle has here--rather than the idyllic image I've read too many times, it seems to me that this is one of the most honest portrayals of childhood--in all its complexity, that I've ever read. Not always pleasant, but honest.
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

May 22, 2015 – Shelved
December 18, 2018 – Started Reading
December 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.