An historical novel like none before it, A Star Called Henry marks a new chapter in Roddy Doyle's writing. It is a vastly more ambitious book than any he has written before. A subversive look behind the legends of Irish republicanism, at its centre a passionate love story, this is a triumphant work of fiction.
©1999 Roddy Doyle; (P)1999 Random House Audiobooks
"This is a radical departure for Doyle, and a stunning success." (Amazon.co.uk)
Loved it as a hard back and have re read and listened to it many times since. Fantastically entertaining although the narration isn't always the best.
Listened with partner and home educated teenager (eek, lots of underage sex!) during the period of the centenary of the Easter Rising. The writing is excellent, like swift poetry, as is Roddy's telling, which regularly went into snippets of song and kept the humour deadpan. I also appreciated, towards the end of the story, the critique of the modern Irish culture yet to come, which took this period of hope and desperation and turned it into something many involved would have cringed at. I was at a commemorative event for the Rising recently when the local mayor ascertained that the leaders of the Rising would have been proud of Ireland as it stands. I doubt it somehow, particularly for those with the harder line Socialist outlook.... Thousands of homeless children and yet so many empty houses and entire empty estates while the government and banks manufacture a mini property bubble, 'the great oil and gas giveaway', the few refugees let in kept in institutions, etc, etc. Personally I see Connolly spinning in his grave.
I very rarely read or listen to fiction but I loved this. Recommend.
What a story! and brilliantly narrated by the author himself. I would thoroughly recommend this audiobook. The story is captivating and the characters are life size.
The story begins implausibly with a one-legged bouncer but it soon takes off and becomes an exciting story of a young man whose early years are marked by poverty and exclusion. Later he becomes a rebelious hero. Roddy Doyle has gone to a lot of trouble to ensure the historical accuracy of the story.
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