Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

By Roddy Doyle


Doyle, author of The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van, starts off his novel with “we were coming down our road”.

There’s the faintest echo of a tale told by another Irish child, in which the moocow comes down along the road to baby tuckoo. If it were possible for these fictional children to meet, Doyle’s hero would be a fine companion for Joyce’s Stephen. Paddy has a similar love for language, philosophical curiosity, and sensitivity to emotional atmosphere, but he has in addition a robust, wholehearted enjoyment of life lived here and now. He would make solemn Stephen laugh and laugh, just as he does the readers of this fine book.

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