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Smile by Roddy Doyle

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Smile has all the features for which Roddy Doyle has become famous: the razor-sharp dialogue, the humour, the superb evocation of childhood - but this is a novel unlike any he has written before. When you finish the last page you will have been challenged to re-evaluate everything you think you remember so clearly.

If you like Roddy Doyle you might also like to read books by Paul Murray, Sebastian Barry and Martin Amis.


Smile by Roddy Doyle

Just moved in to a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly's pub for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and pink shirt brings over his pint and sits down. He seems to know Victor's name and to remember him from school. Says his name is Fitzpatrick. Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes too the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories too - of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor's own small claim to fame, as the man who says the unsayable on the radio. But it's the memories of school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.


The final pages of the novel are shocking, and they turn everything preceding it on its head. It's testament to the power of Doyle's writing that the ending is deeply moving, and so very sad. -- Alice O'Keeffe Bookseller

About the Author

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. His first novel, The Commitments, was published to great acclaim in 1987 and was made into a very successful film in 1991. The Snapper was published in 1990 and has also been made into a film. His third novel, The Van, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and was also made into a film. Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha won the 1993 Booker Prize. His most recent novel is A Star Called Henry. He lives in Dublin.

Photo © Amelia Stein

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Book Info

Publication date

7th September 2017


Roddy Doyle

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Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK


224 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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