9780099284482

Star Called Henry (Last Roundup)

Doyle, Roddy

ISBN 10: 0099284480 / 0-09-928448-0
ISBN 13: 9780099284482
Publisher: Vintage/Ebury (a Division of Random
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Born in the Dublin slums of 1901, his father a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing and begging, often cold and always hungry, but a prince of the streets. By Easter Monday, 1916, he's fourteen years old and already six-foot-two, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army. A year later he's ready to die for Ireland again, a rebel, a Fenian and a killer. With his father's wooden leg as his weapon, Henry becomes a Republican legend - one of Michael Collins' boys, a cop killer, an assassin on a stolen bike.

Review:
"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood." The quote is from Frank McCourt's memoir of growing up impoverished in Limerick, circa World War II. But the sentiment might just as easily have come from the fictional lips of Henry Smart, the hero of Roddy Doyle's remarkable novel of Dublin in the teens, A Star Called Henry. The son of a one-legged hit man, young Henry is the third child born but the first to live through infancy. He is also the second Henry--the first having died, and become a star in the mind of his mother.
She held me but she looked up at her twinkling boy. Poor me beside her, pale and red-eyed, held together by rashes and sores. A stomach crying to be filled, bare feet aching like an old, old man's. Me, a shocking substitute for the little Henry who'd been too good for this world, the Henry God had wanted for himself. Poor me.
Soon, his father has all but abandoned the growing family, and at 9 Henry is on his own, running wild in the streets, thieving to stay alive. Depressing as all this sounds, Doyle has invested his narrator with such an appetite for life, and rendered him so resolutely unsorry for himself, that it seems almost insulting to pity him.

By the time he is 14, Henry has become a soldier in the new Irish Republican Army and in one long and harrowing chapter, we view the events of the Easter Rising of 1916 from his position in the thick of it. It's not a pretty sight by any means, as the populace is divided in its support and various factions within the Republican Army threaten to splinter and annihilate one another before the British even get there. When the shooting starts, Henry aims not at the British but at the store windows across the street. "I shot and killed all that I had been denied, all the commerce and snobbery that had been mocking me and other hundreds of thousands behind glass and locks, all the injustice, unfairness and shoes--while the lads took chunks out of the military." Though the uprising is eventually crushed and the leaders executed, Henry escapes to live--and fight--another day.

In previous books such as The Barrytown Trilogy, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, and The Woman Who Walked into Doors, Doyle has established himself as one of the premiere chroniclers of modern Irish life. With A Star Called Henry, he works his singular magic on the past. What's more, this is only volume one of the Last Roundup, so it looks like we haven't seen the last of Henry Smart. And that's a very good thing, indeed. --Alix Wilber

Review

Review:
"A Best Book of '99" -- The Globe and Mail

"Marvellous...bloody brilliant." -- The Toronto Star

"
A startling achievement...a book where war can rage and love can burrow under the skin--. A fragment of a forgotten folk song and a worm's eye view of Irish history.... A grand thing of beauty." -- The Globe and Mail

"History evoked on an intimate and yet earth-shaking scale, with a huge dash of the blarney, some mythical embellishments and a driving narrative that never falters." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A triumph of craft and intelligence and toughness of mind." -- Hamilton Spectator

"A masterpiece." -- The Irish Times

“Doyle has [written an] Irish epic, and he wields the style like a sword, with the power and grace of a master.” -- The Village Voice

“Maybe the Great American Novel remains to be written, but on the evidence of its first installment, this is the epic Irish one, created at a high pitch of eloquence.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Astonishing…. Narrated with a splendor, wit, and excitement that lift Doyle’s writing to a new level.” -- The New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: VINTAGE, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Born in the Dublin slums of 1901, his father a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he s out robbing and begging, often cold and always hungry, but a prince of the streets. By Easter Monday, 1916, he s fourteen years old and already six-foot-two, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army. A year later he s ready to die for Ireland again, a rebel, a Fenian and a killer. With his father s wooden leg as his weapon, Henry becomes a Republican legend - one of Michael Collins boys, a cop killer, an assassin on a stolen bike. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099284482

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Book Description: VINTAGE, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Born in the Dublin slums of 1901, his father a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he s out robbing and begging, often cold and always hungry, but a prince of the streets. By Easter Monday, 1916, he s fourteen years old and already six-foot-two, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army. A year later he s ready to die for Ireland again, a rebel, a Fenian and a killer. With his father s wooden leg as his weapon, Henry becomes a Republican legend - one of Michael Collins boys, a cop killer, an assassin on a stolen bike. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099284482

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Book Description: 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 22mm. Paperback. Born in the Dublin slums of 1901, his father a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing and begging, o.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.252. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099284482

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Book Description: Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Star Called Henry, Roddy Doyle, Born in the Dublin slums of 1901, his father a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing and begging, often cold and always hungry, but a prince of the streets. By Easter Monday, 1916, he's fourteen years old and already six-foot-two, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army. A year later he's ready to die for Ireland again, a rebel, a Fenian and a killer. With his father's wooden leg as his weapon, Henry becomes a Republican legend - one of Michael Collins' boys, a cop killer, an assassin on a stolen bike. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099284482

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