Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

by Roddy Doyle


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Winner of the Booker Prize – Roddy Doyle’s witty, exuberant novel about a young boy trying to make sense of his changing world

Look for Roddy Doyle’s new novel, Smile, coming in October of 2017

It is 1968. Patrick Clarke is ten. He loves Geronimo, the Three Stooges, and the smell of his hot water bottle. He can't stand his little brother Sinbad. His best friend is Kevin, and their names are all over Barrytown, written with sticks in wet cement. They play football, lepers, and jumping to the bottom of the sea. But why didn't anyone help him when Charles Leavy had been going to kill him? Why do his ma and da argue so much, but act like everything is fine? Paddy sees everything, but he understands less and less. Hilarious and poignant, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha charts the triumphs, indignities, and bewilderment of a young boy and his world, a place full of warmth, cruelty, confusion and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140233902
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1995
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 380,907
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.62(d)
Lexile: 490L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Roddy Doyle is an internationally bestselling writer. His first three novels—The Commitments, The Snapper, and the 1991 Booker Prize finalist The Van—are known as The Barrytown Trilogy. He is also the author of the novels Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993 Booker Prize winner), The Woman Who Walked into Doors, and A Star Called Henry, and a non-fiction book about his parents, Rory & Ita. Doyle has also written for the stage and the screen: the plays Brownbread, War, Guess Who's Coming for the Dinner, and The Woman Who Walked Into Doors; the film adaptations of The Commitments )as co-writer), The Snapper, and The Van; When Brendan Met Trudy (an original screenplay); the four-part television series Family for the BBC; and the television play Hell for Leather. Roddy Doyle has also written the children's books The Giggler Treatment, Rover Saves Christmas, and The Meanwhile Adventures and contributed to a variety of publications including The New Yorker magazine and several anthologies. He lives in Dublin.

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Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is a brilliant little novel. Paddy is a 10 year old boy growing up in a Dublin suburb in the late 60s. I didn't grow up in Dublin in the late 60s; I grew up in California in the early 90s. Does that mean I can't properly understand Paddy? Not in the least, because this is not a novel about time and place; this is a novel about living through childhood, and I can still recall what that was like. Roddy Doyle captures childhood perfectly here. This book is written in Paddy's ten year old voice, and we are treated to all the leaps in subject and logic the ten year old mind is prone to. Impressively Doyle manages to write in this voice without the narrative ever becoming "cutesy" or sentimental; Paddy acts and thinks as a real child, not an adult's image of a child. Much of the story centers around Paddy's interactions with his group of friends, and all the fickleness, cruelty, and petty politics involved in friendship at that age. Alliances shift, attitudes change, and newcomers upset the balance. We're also witness to Paddy's home life, where his feelings toward his younger brother are confused, and his parents' marriage is falling apart. Paddy doesn't understand why these things are happening, only that they are happening and he doesn't like them. In the end this novel is hilarious, touching, and beautiful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paddy Clarke is just trying to grow up, not make too much trouble at school, have fun, keep it all together and survive. Told in the first person, the narrative gets into the head of the ten-year old and I frequently found myself laughing out loud. But the story is also sad because in the end the bad joke's on Paddy Clarke, ha ha ha. Booker award winner.
msjoanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Roddy Doyle does a tremendous job capturing the inner world of a ten-year-old. Though nothing particularly dramatic happens in this book -- no deaths, no world events, no grave illnesses -- the character's monologue completely enthralled me. The story jumped from anecdote to anecdote without following strict chronology or chapter breaks, but the character's voice was strong enough to carry the narrative forward.
Noisy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I blame Umberto Eco. First person narrative by a primary school child growing up in the 1960s. The child lives in an environment that is changing from a semi-rural town on the coast, into an urbanised community. Farms run by the same family for generations are being replaced by new housing developments; corner shops are clinging on, but you can sense that the threat of the supermarket is just around the corner. Aspiration is growing, along with access to consumer goods. Irrelevant. All this is irrelevant. The child's-eye view is self centered; the changes are recognised, but only measured by the impact on my world, my horizons. How can I manipulate this situation to my advantage? Why are they doing this to me? If I do this I get a thrill, and recognition from my peers. There are stirrings of compassion (and experimentation), and fads come and go, along with alliances. And yet, measurements of one's peers are made using a yardstick that is largely based on the family. My da's got a car; his big brother has got this amazing toy; their da let's them play in every room of the house, rather than just the hall and bedroom; those lads come from a council house estate. Of course, such self-centeredness doesn't recognise cruelty, but then memories are short at that time of life. Aren't they? I recognise so much from this tale. I had allotments at the bottom of the garden which stretched for miles until they were eaten up by the by-pass, and the new primary school, and eventually the new houses. I was sent to bed for watching the workmen constructing the by-pass rather than going straight home from school; I can point to the exact spot where my father let go of the back of my bike; I saw alliances made and broken. I'm convinced that some of those experiences changed my life for ever, as they did for Paddy Clarke. Ha ha ha. Roddy Doyle could have been relating a version of my childhood. It's uncanny. Accurate and consistent and poignant. I can understand why it won the Booker Prize. God, I wish I'd started reading real literature like this ages ago, instead of the science fiction and thrillers and detective stories that made up the bulk of my literary exploration. Hold on, I have read a bunch of Graham Greene, and I do remember standing in W. H. Smiths in front of the novel section, and dithering over which of the latest literary masterpieces to buy to start expanding my cultural horizons. Didn't I pick up Foucault's Pendulum? I blame Umberto Eco.
redheadish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Paddy Clarke is definately totally screwed up kid who seems to right himself by the end of the book. I was totally inscensed by the wicked things he and his friends did, and of course Paddy thought it was Brilliant! Thank goodness he wasn't my kid! I was also very annoyed by the writing style as if it were childlike sentences all the way through the book written by someone with ADHD! I only finished it to see what actually happens to Paddy....but it was interesting to say the least and had quite a few laughs. It took longer to read because my heart wasn't in it like others I have read so I went back and forth wishing I could sit long enough to finish it.
kidzdoc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The winner of the 1993 Booker Prize, [Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha] is a novel narrated by Patrick "Paddy" Clarke, an 10 year old boy from Dublin, which is set in 1968. Paddy is tormented by his younger brother Francis, who he calls Sinbad due to his resemblance to the sailor, and is troubled by his strict school teacher, adult neighbors who do not appreciate his bawdy sense of humor or clever pranks (such as giving a dead rat a proper Viking funeral or stealing women's magazines from local stores), and especially his parents, whose fights are becoming more frequent and violent. Doyle expertly captures the voice, irrational beliefs, and attitudes of a young boy, who is always in minor trouble and engages in dangerous activities, but who is still a sympathetic and lovable character. I laughed at seemingly every other page throughout the first half of the book, as I remembered my childhood pranks and those of my friends (and enemies), and became choked up as the novel reached its inevitable conclusion. This novel will resonate deeply with anyone who grew up in the 1960s, but everyone will recognize a bit of their childhood, good and bad, in the lovable and irrepressible Paddy.
richardderus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ugh.Books written in the voice of a child had best use that technique for a reason...the child's perspective becomes wearing unless there is some very, very compelling narrative reason to make us follow a kid around without wanting to scream blue murder after a while.I don't find any such compelling reason in this book. I don't find anything compelling at all in this book, as a matter of fact.Ireland sounds damned good and dreary, and I am rethinking my desire to visit. I hate priests, nuns, and the Catholic Church with a vibrating Day-Glo orange passion. I'm beginning to hate all the fools and cruels who dare to become parents in Ireland, too. All the cheery Irish that exist appear to have moved here and taken up writing about the badness of Irish childhoods.Blech. I don't want to talk about this book anymore. Read it at your peril. Why did I give it three stars? Because the writing, the descriptions, the sheer visual acuity of it makes anything less a dishonest rating, one based on my growing dislike of the country it's about, not a judgment of the book's merits.
lauralkeet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The narrator and title character of this story, 10-year-old Patrick Clarke, is a fairly typical Irish boy. He runs with a pack of boys, playing football and finding ample opportunities for mischief. He tolerates his younger brother Francis (nicknamed Sinbad), and barely pays attention to his younger sisters. Adults -- teachers, friends' parents, and his own parents -- are mysterious creatures. He understands little about the adult world, and cares little about it as well. That is, until the small cracks in his family structure widen into fissures, and then chasms. As the oldest child, Patrick assumes responsibility for maintaining a cohesive family environment, and believes he can influence and redirect the growing emotional tension between his parents. For the first two-thirds of this book, Roddy Doyle places the reader right in the middle of Patrick and his friends, experiencing their hijinks, and seeing the world through their eyes. I found myself reliving my own childhood, when my friends & I explored the woods behind my house, and speculated (quite erroneously) about the actions of our neighbors. And then, Patrick becomes aware that his mother and father are not getting along. He doesn't understand why, and tries desperately to correct the situation. Because the story is told entirely from Patrick's point of view, many questions go unanswered and the reader is left similarly powerless. Doyle's technique was quite effective; I desperately wanted to take Patrick aside, explain what was happening in his life, and give him a big hug. This was a touching, poignant story.
kevinashley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A really great novel on a number of levels. Very evocative of childhood and more specifically of Dublin in the 1960s. I could hear my cousin's voices speaking the dialogue and it all rang true, as did the strangely disjointed child's perspective on time and narrative. Initially a very funny book, the transition to a darker and more painful story is very gradual and imperceptible, echoing the tragedy of what it portrays - lost innocence in one sense, and lost love.
dalzan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Paddy Clarke is ten in 1968.Paddy and his friends stage a Viking funeral for a dead rat, run the Grand National over the neighbors' hedged gardens, set fires at building sites, rob ladies' magazines (because they were the easiest) from shops, and torment each other, forming fluid alliances and watching for weaknesses. They are funny and frightening and unaware of both. The early part of the book roams from hair-raising adventure to adventure, incorporating casual cruelties and unheeded dangers with Sinbad, Paddy's younger brother. Then the ever-simmering tensions between his parents intensify. The mysterious fights, his mother's tears, his father's black moods, move into Paddy's life and begin to take it over. Paddy begins to see his little brother with new eyes - a person who can share the burden of fear and maybe help stop it from happening. But Sinbad is uncooperative. Too young or too-long tormented by his older brother, he refuses to even listen. Paddy is left to turn the tide by himself. He stays awake all night because if he does it will stop them fighting; he watches them and interposes himself between them, learning how to turn their anger. The last third of the book is filled with uncertainty. The sense that anything can happen at any time keeps the reader on tenterhooks, hopeful, like Paddy, that normality will return.
Doondeck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very Irish and very good.
laytonwoman3rd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A delightful, moving story of childhood told in a narrative style that at times is almost stream of consciousness, and yet never bewildering; lyrical and lovely, not a bit sentimental; it touches the frightened child that still lurks in my subconsciousness somewhere engaged in the kind of magical thinking that promises "If I stay awake all night, it will keep this bad thing from happening". I thought the ending a bit weak, if inevitable. Highly recommended.
samfsmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A coming of age novel, but of a ten-year-old boy. Doyle captures the manic immaturity of a child very well. It brought back memories, even though this novel takes place in Ireland. The superstitions in particular struck a chord with me - I remember thinking those same things when I was a kid.It¿s a series of short scenes, all in first person in the voice of a boy. He¿s not a very nice boy either - he terrorizes his younger brother and his friends, engaging in acts of cruelty and viciousness that only kids are capable of. So Paddy Clarke is not very likable.The novel is essentially plotless. A novel without a plot has to have something else to give it forward motion and to keep the reader interested. Doyle uses the incomplete understanding of Paddy as he watches his parents argue and his father become violent with his mother. Perhaps Paddy will turn out like his father, since he also seems to hurt those that he loves.I have to compare it to Cat¿s Eye by Margaret Atwood. Atwood actually wraps the story of the young girl coming of age in a frame of the girl as an adult. In my opinion, a much better way to tell the story - it certainly kept my interest more than this novel, which tended to drag - I was tempted to skip ahead. If you have ever spent any time with a child of that age you will now what I mean - a little bit goes a long way.
katydid-it on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A view into the mind of a 10 year-old boy - all his hopes, adventures, friendships, and fears. In a world where the us vs them is kids vs adults, Paddy's voice will bring you back to what it was like to be a child on the verge of adolescence when it was far more important to be cool in front of your friends than in front of the opposite sex. His incites into the relationship dynamics of his neighbors, group of friends, with his brother, and of the dissolving marriage of his parents are sometimes skewed by his limited understanding due to being a kid. In this novel Roddy Doyle excels. As we grow up, it's often too easy to forget the pains and joys of childhood - Doyle brings them into sharp focus with Paddy Clarke.
Othemts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Forget your cheesy childhood nostalgia and read this book about children who can be awfully cruel and devise their own kid logic. One of the best books by one of my favorite authors.
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this on an airplane 3 months ago and then forgot about it, so I don't recall many details. What I do recall is that I didn't care for it and was very disappointed. I've enjoyed quite a bit of Doyle's short stories and this one has a great reputation. On the other hand, I'd tried reading it once before and set it down for about five years. Mainly, this book made me really dislike young boys and want nothing to do with them. Which is a new feeling for me. But they were just horrible. So Doyle was vivid -- I'll give him that. But separate from disliking the main characters so much, the plot tended to drag and repeat itself and regularly lose my interest. It also didn't help that I loathe bathroom humor and you can't have a realistic 10-year old without it. That part obviously isn't the book's fault. Oh well.
hemlokgang on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marvelous read. Roddy Doyle takes us inside the mind of a ten year old Irish boy in the 1960s, and anyone who has raised or worked with boys will know how great his representation is. I laughed out loud, and felt a wide range of other emotions as the protagonist deals with the social rules of his peers, the problems at home, and how to feel about his brother. Wonderful read!
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't really like this book. I didn't hate it, but it didn't do anything for me.I didn't really relate to the character as much as I tried.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had a rought time getting through this book. I appreciate the talent it took for the writing and the scope of what was attempted, but for me it was a choppy and often seemingly repetitive novel. In the end, even after much thought, I still felt as if it had been something of a pointless read. I enjoy reading purely for entertainment, don't get me wrong, but I got very little enjoyment/entertainment out of this book, and finished as more of a chore than anything else. Adding to the disappointment was the fact that it didn't particularly leave me with much to think about. All in all, I felt it could have been about half its length and had more of an impact. The author also needed to be a bit clearer if we wanted fuller messages and implications to reach the reader. In the end, I'm just not a fan of the book. The writing and story were both stilted, and longer than remotely necessary or desirable in this case.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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LyndaT More than 1 year ago
Written entirely from the perspective of an 11-year-old, Paddy Clark gets into his fair share of boyhood scrapes. A reminder of how kids used to roam around free getting into adventures and developing a sense of how friendships work. Paddy is forced to mature when his parents have marital problems, which Paddy thinks he can fix, but cannot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Doyle's ability to tap into his youth (not saying this is a memoir) is amazing. An adult was able to narrate through a 10-year-old's voice--incredible writing. Probably the only book I've ever written w/o chapters but this was an easy read, I loved the changes in stories. There is an understated resolution at the end even though this doesn't contain the traditional plot-line. Not your standard novel, but that's not a reason to avoid reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great work by Roddy Doyle, sensitive, capturing the spirit through the narrative. He has managed to almost walk the reader through the boy's mind, one cant but help 'experience' the journey...superb!