Thursday, December 30, 2010

J.G.'s Review - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

This is one of those time-traveling books that take the reader of his or her own life and plop them smack in the middle of another person's experience. Normally I wouldn't opt into being a mischievous 10-year-old Irish Catholic boy, but Doyle's masterful use of language and syntax make that experience rich and enjoyable.

The cover for this book captures Paddy Clarke perfectly: he's a little wild, a little dirty, but still an innocent at heart. His adventures with this friends devolve into a real worry about an adult problem, his parents' disintegrating marriage. Although Paddy senses trouble, he neither understands what is happening nor has any power to stop it. As readers, we feel Paddy's confusion and at the same time, we know that, ready or not, Paddy is going to have to start growing up.

Things that would normally bother me (lack of punctuation marks, lack of a solid chronology, shifting subject matter, not much of a plot) simply didn't make it onto the radar this time. Doyle's writing provides what feels like an authentic experience and I simply sat back and enjoyed the ride.

For more about this book, check out my review at Hotchpot Cafe.

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