The first half of this novel captivated me. In Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle demonstrates a marvellous ability to remember what it was like to be a ten-year-old boy. In that respect, the novel is brilliant. I would describe it as a fictional memoir of childhood written from a child''s point of view. The novel is composed of a series of literary sketches, often seeming to follow no particular order, as if they spontaneously arose in Doyle''s mind and then appeared on the page like happy chance accidents. This in itself creates a wonderful, free spirited, childlike mood.
The second half of the novel dragged on a bit. A narrative became apparent: Paddy''s parents were fighting frequently and it was obvious that their marriage was breaking down. Their ultimate separation didn''t come as a surprise; I felt as though I was just waiting for the inevitable to happen.
The greatness of this novel is Doyle''s astonishing ability to catapult the reader back into the triumphs and losses of childhood, how important it is to be loved and wanted, how painful is the loneliness of a child.
- Publisher: Penguin USA (1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140233903
- ISBN-13: 978-0140233902
- Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 12.9 x 1.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Customer Reviews: 122 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,908,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)