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A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle
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A Star Called Henry (1999)

by Roddy Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Last Roundup (1)

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2,096294,845 (3.68)91
An IRA terrorist who fought for Irish independence in 1910s Dublin tells his story. He is Henry Smart, son of a brothel bouncer, who becomes a street urchin after his father goes to jail and his mother turns senile. He joins the movement and rises in its ranks to participate in the 1916 Easter Rising, including the famous attack on the post office.… (more)
Recently added bycknick, claudio.svaluto, Chrisch, private library, Steve.Gourley, NML_dc, shirlynd, Jb55Cs
Legacy LibrariesJuice Leskinen
  1. 20
    The Deportees: and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle (Cariola)
    Cariola: Wonderfully diverse collection of short stories, focusing on recent immigrants to Ireland from all over the world. Some are funny, some are dark, some are sad, but all of them show Doyle at his best.
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» See also 91 mentions

English (25)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Dark and often humorous look at early 20th century Ireland and the Easter Rising, telling the story of Henry Smart coming into his own. ( )
  musecure | Jun 27, 2014 |
I had only known Roddy Doyle from the Barrytown trilogy, and picked up this book thanks to the author's name alone. I made an attempt at it about four years ago but was quickly put off by the very different style.

Recently I tired again, and I'm glad I did. Despite the darkness inherent throughout, there are elements of black comedy that cut through the gloom, and the result is a thoroughly engaging novel that blends contemporary Irish history with a big, semi-mythical character.

About halfway through, I decided to see what else Doyle had written, and realized that this book, too, was part of a series. So now I will have to get the rest. I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with Henry Smart. ( )
  shabacus | Jan 24, 2014 |
An irreverent treatment of Irish Republicanism in the early 20th Century as experienced by Henry, one of its not very deep-thinking or aware foot soldiers. ( )
  LARA335 | Jun 11, 2013 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a great novel covering the historic events surrounding the Easter Rising and the early years of Irish independence.

Roddy Doyle's writing style pops like bullets ricocheting off the page. The book starts with Henry's birth into the slums of Dublin, Ireland in 1901. The descriptions of the poverty, filth and hunger which drive Henry to the streets at the tender age of five are brutal. Henry is fighting against social injustice and his story takes him to the fight for independence from Britain by Irish rebels. The scenes at the General Post Office, the center of the Easter uprising in 1916, are told with Henry fighting side by side with the leaders of the rebellion. Afterwards, he becomes Michael Collins' man training rebels and planting the seeds of revolution, until the end of the book where he becomes his own man.

On a personal note, as I read the scenes around the Easter uprising, I was thinking about my grandfather who was there doing his bit. In a copy of his application for the military service pension act, one of the questions was related to service during the week of April 23 to 27, 1916. His description of "particulars of any military operations or engagements or services during this period" were "Roof GPO from Monday to Wednesday. Basement til Thursday morning. Roof til Thursday evening. Instrument room til Friday evening. Moore Lane and Moore Street until Surrender on Saturday." Those few lines written by my Grandad became very real to me as I read those scenes in the book.

This is my favorite of the books I've read by Roddy Doyle. ( )
2 vote NanaCC | Mar 26, 2013 |
A few days ago I was faced with a choice. I could leave this book on the shelf in Waterstone's or i could buy it, take it home and read it.
I chose poorly! ( )
  Eyejaybee | Nov 1, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, RoddyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mijn, Aad van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orth-Guttmann, RenateTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Heaven --I'm in heaven--And my heart beats soThat I can hardlySpeak. --Irving Berlin
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This book to dedicated to Kate
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My mother looked up at the stars.
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