Paddy Clarke Ja Ja Ja Roddy Doyle

ISBN: 9789580433163

Published: November 28th 1998


0 pages


Paddy Clarke Ja Ja Ja  by  Roddy Doyle

Paddy Clarke Ja Ja Ja by Roddy Doyle
November 28th 1998 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 0 pages | ISBN: 9789580433163 | 9.64 Mb

I hate to think that I’m susceptible to some merchandiser’s power of suggestion, but as soon as hearts and Cupids give way to shamrocks and leprechauns (typically Feb. 15), my thoughts often turn towards the Emerald Isle. Of course, when the lovely lass I married accompanied me there last year to celebrate a round-number anniversary, I can be forgiven for thinking about it even more, right?

Beyond the history, scenery, culture, silver-tongued locals and tasty libations, there’s the draw of their proud literary tradition. Roddy Doyle has done his part to continue this. Many here know him from his book The Commitments, the first in the Barrytown Trilogy and the basis for a fookin’ brilliant film. Well, PCHHH is no slouch either. It won a Booker in 1993.Both Doyle and his protagonist are exactly my age. It was interesting to me to see the similarities and differences that a ten year old Dublin lad would experience in 1968. I could relate to the joys of transistor radios and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., for instance, and more generally to that emerging awareness of a complicated world.

The horseplay among boys that age was another commonality. (When or where has that not been the case?). Even so, the extremes to which Paddy and his mates took it would have been ruled out of bounds most places. For instance, I’m pretty sure I never tried to set my brother’s lips on fire with lighter fluid, or hobble anyone from the wrong side of the tracks.

The overall feel of it was like Ralphie from A Christmas Story had he been speaking about his miserable Irish childhood (a la Angela’s Ashes, though perhaps slightly drier) with the Marquis de Sade as technical advisor.One aspect of the book that was both similar and different was the emphasis on sports. While stateside the obsessions involved baseball, football (the oblong, American kind) and basketball, over there it was just football (the round, rest-of-the-world kind).

George Best was the flashy Irish superstar at Manchester United who was Joe Namath, Mickey Mantle and Dr. J all wrapped into one. In their play-acting matches there was fierce competition for who got to be him. Paddy’s little brother Francis (a.k.a. Sinbad) opted out of that role, preferring to be one of the less celebrated players. I figured it said a lot about the brother relationship that Paddy always worked every advantage to appear the dominant star whereas Sinbad was happy to play an ancillary role, creatively feeding the ball to the scorers, ending up more responsible for the results even if less recognized.

The fact that Paddy acknowledged Sinbad’s sacrifice and cleverness was meaningful since we saw only the antagonism prior to that point. George Best also featured in another story when Paddy’s da bought him a cherished copy of Best’s book, autographed by the man himself. Or was it?Paddy’s vignettes did not constitute a plot, per se. They were closer to stream-of-consciousness, though a post-Joycean variety where obfuscation was less of a goal. Plus, they built towards something of a climax -- an affecting realization.

The convergence of Paddy’s growing maturity and empathy levels with his mum’s tears and his da’s sullen demeanor made him view Sinbad and his parents in a new way, but, begorra, I shan’t say more.Sláinte, Paddy! Sláinte, Sinbad! Your creator made me care. That’s something worthy of a toast in a St.

Patrick’s Day tribute, isn’t it?

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