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Knick Knack Paddy Whack [Paperback]

Ardal O'Hanlon
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
I met Plunkett McKenna on Parnell Square when I was waiting for the bus home to Castlecock. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read July 10 2000
By Brenda
Format:Hardcover
Mr. O'Hanlon's debut novel will certainly be a memorable one for me. I was intrigued with his interpretation of small town life in Ireland. Although the author gives us a young woman's view through Francesca's Diary, the narrator, Patrick Scully, leaves the strongest impression. The author's characters are well developed and strong. The only thing I worried about in this debut was the extent of the language and some scenes.
Patrick Scully is a security guard in Dublin. He doesn't like Dublin because they are rude and not at all like the friendly folks in his hometown of Castlecock. When he comes home for a visit, he has a memorable experience that will affect his life and relationship with his on again-off again girlfriend Francesca. The reader is drawn through Scully, Francesca, and Xavier's lives, emotions, decisions, and outcomes.
Mr. O'Hanlon's story captures the struggling emotions youth experience when changing from teen to young adult. He captures their lack of faith in life, and lets the reader hear it through their brash, colorful words. It was an interesting read.
Brenda @ Myshelf.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale Jan. 29 2000
Format:Hardcover
In 1983 Dublin, nineteen-year old Patrick Scully works as a security guard in a jewelry store. Through his roommate, college student Xavier "Balls" O'Reilly, Patrick meets another student Francesca Kelly. While Patrick thinks Francesca is his girlfriend, her diary entries suggest otherwise sating she loves Balls.
Francesca returns to her hometown to visit her mother. Balls and Patrick also go home to their village. Though he believes overall that he is an honorable and faithful person, Patrick picks up a girl at the local pub and shares sex. He desperately tries to bury his guilty feelings involving what he has done to Francesca. All Patrick wanted was his relationship with to continue, while the growing more independent woman wanted to end it.
KNICK KNACK PADDY WHACK is an interesting characters-driven look at a young adult trying to grasp onto anything that will stop him from drowning in society's hypocrisy. The plot is clearly Patrick's tale even though the absence of Francesca adds to the excitement. Patrick uses humor to defuse his growing dark feelings and to survive in a world that he loathes. Ardal O'Hanlon scores with his debut novel that focuses on the dichotomy of feelings and disenchantment that late teens feel as they step into the realm of adulthood.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great portrayal of small-town life in Ireland July 19 2000
Format:Hardcover
This book is a very true portrayal of small-town life in Ireland; to me the plot wasn't such a big deal, I was engrossed by the character depictions, it felt like the ending was put in almost as an afterthought. This is simply great "observational" literature. I think that some of the low ratings for this book reflect a cultural mis-understanding/wedge between the Irish and Americans. Being an Irishman living in America, I can understand that the Irish sense of humor can seem shocking to folks here; I thought this book was hilarious, and it goes to show that humor is subjective. Paddy's verbal lashing out at everyone and everything around him is his way of dealing with the world. You can extend that to a lot of Irish people. Remember that Ireland has been a disenfranchised, colonised, oppressed, invaded state and that reflects on the people. Maybe when America has lost its empire, this kind of thing will go down much better!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great portrayal of small-town life in Ireland July 19 2000
Format:Hardcover
This book is a very true portrayal of small-town life in Ireland; to me the plot wasn't such a big deal, I was engrossed by the character depictions, it felt like the ending was put in almost as an afterthought. This is simply great "observational" literature. I think that some of the low ratings for this book reflect a cultural mis-understanding/wedge between the Irish and Americans. Being an Irishman living in America, I can understand that the Irish sense of humor can seem shocking to folks here; I thought this book was hilarious, and it goes to show that humor is subjective. Paddy's verbal lashing out at everyone and everything around him is his way of dealing with the world. You can extend that to a lot of Irish people. Remember that Ireland has been a disenfranchised, colonised, oppressed, invaded state and that reflects on the people. Maybe when America has lost its empire, this kind of thing will go down much better!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Highly Unmemorable... May 12 2000
By A. Ross
Format:Hardcover
Irish comic O'Hanlon has written a largely unmemorable coming of age novel starring the entirely unsympathetic and creepy 18-year-old Patrick. He works as a security guard in Dublin and periodically takes the bus to his home hamlet on weekends, allowing the reader a glimpse into both city and small town life in early 80s Ireland. While certain set pieces and milieus are descriptively evoked, the overall story of the ethically confused boy and his relationship with college student Francesca doesn't really hold together. The novel is more effective when it breaks off into excerpts from Franceca's diary, detailing her side of their relationship. However, this too, is problematic, as you know that eventually Patrick will be reading it, and only bad things can result. All in all, it lacks the humor I had expected, and is very bleak. Elements of it are highly reminiscent of The Butcher Boy.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Ardal even more!
I am a big fan of the TV show 'Father Ted' that Ardal was on so I decided to check this book out. I LOVED it. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2005 by Natalie
3.0 out of 5 stars Ardal, I was disappointed
Oh it had potential, it really did! If only he had gone through it a bit more, cleaned up a bit of the grammar and etc., we'd have quite a good piece before us. Read more
Published on June 28 2003 by David M. Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars A good first book by a talented comedian
When I started reading this book I found it hard to put it down...picking it up at every free moment I had and continueing to read on. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible waste of time.
This was a horrible book. I didn't care about any of thecharacters, so when the alleged "shocking conclusion"happened I didn't bat an eye. Read more
Published on May 8 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, I didn't like it.
I'm usually extremely tolerant of the books I read, and always try to give authors the benefit of the doubt in my reviews. Unfortunately, I just didn't like this book. Read more
Published on April 24 2000 by Frank J. Konopka
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing story, beautifully written
Just plain wonderful. Interesting characters, vivid settings, beautiful writing throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly
Published on Feb. 22 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget 'Angela's Ashes' here is a real picture of Ireland.
Having grown up and attended college in Ireland in the eighties this book brought back a flight of memories. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2000 by Galwayk
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