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Knick Knack Paddy Whack

O'Hanlon, Ardal

544 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0805063307 / ISBN 13: 9780805063301
Published by Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2000
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

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Fine/Fine unread copy protected by Archival Brodart Cover Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000918

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Knick Knack Paddy Whack

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


A surprise best-seller in Britain, this outrageous, weirdly funny first novel will appeal to fans of Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha. Not since Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye has literature seen a young man with as much contempt for hypocrisy and phoniness as Patrick Scully, the narrator of this brilliantly observed tale of a nineteen-year-old's frustrations and dreams. Stuck in a dead- job in Dublin, while his friends pursue useless degrees at the university, Patrick escapes for a week to his hometown of Killeeny, a few hours' bus ride from Dublin. There he hooks up with his childhood chum, Balls O'Reilly, and his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Francesca, who, as we learn in chapters from her diary, is more interested in Balls than she'd want anyone, especially Patrick, to know. What follows is a rollicking week of carousing, drinking, and depravity, all seen through Patrick's searing and unforgiving eyes. Laced with hilarious small-town insight, this gripping first novel builds to a shocking climax as Patrick's insight into the duplicity of his so-called friends becomes more than he can bear.


In the course of a single, wild weekend, the narrator of Knick Knack Paddy Whack tells us his dismal life story, and offers his opinions about practically everything. With a chip on his shoulder the size of Northern Ireland, Patrick Scully seems to loathe everyone else, too, including his family, girlfriend, and best mate. As we learn, this sworn foe of positive thinking originally hails from small-town Castlecock, where "you don't exist unless people are talking about you, good, bad, or indifferent." His account of the Scully clan--who appreciate little but a good game of football and the gory details of a neighbor's illness--makes his constant cynicism all the more comical (and explicable). It also illustrates exactly why Patrick would rather do anything than be at home:

I'd stay in the front room, switch on Radio Luxembourg on my pocket transistor and glue it to my ear.... The squealing and hissing and crackling I had to put up with sounded like someone deep-fat frying a herd of live pigs. But at the end of the day a migraine was a small price to pay for escape from the duelling harbingers of doom in the kitchen.
Having escaped Castlecock for Dublin, Patrick now works as a security guard, steals from his boss, and habitually puts away one too many pints. On its own, this disgruntled Dubliner's voice might begin to wear thin. But Ardal O'Hanlon has alternated Patrick's rants with some poignant diary entries by his girlfriend, Francesca--and these dual narratives add up to a seamless, suspenseful story, which should keep the reader unnerved to the very end. --Melissa Asher

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