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In A Star Called Henry we were introduced to this charismatic lad, prince of the streets and rebel. Now he is a handsome young man fleeing Ireland and losing none of his charm and quick wits in prohibition America. Speak-easies, gangsters, double dealing, racism, booze, women and Louis Armstrong, Henry is in the thick of history. It’s seriously good.
Comparison: Martin Amis, David Nobbs, Stephen Fry.
Similar this month: None but try David Maine or A L Kennedy.
It's 1924, and New York is the centre of the universe. Henry Smart, on the run from Dublin, falls on his feet. He is a handsome man with a sandwich board, behind which he stashes hooch for the speakeasies of the Lower East Side. He catches the attention of the mobsters who run the district and soon there are eyes on his back and men in the shadows. It is time to leave, for another America- Chicago is wild and new, and newest of all is the music. Furious, wild, happy music played by a man with a trumpet and bleeding lips called Louis Armstrong. His music is everywhere, coming from every open door, every phonograph. But Armstrong is a prisoner of his colour; there are places a black man cannot go, things he cannot do. Armstrong needs a man, a white man, and the man he chooses is Henry Smart.
'Brilliantly imagined...Utterly magnificent, the finest work he has done' Sunday Tribune
'Doyle's performance is, again, extraordinary for the richness of allusion, the facility with which history is dovetailed with invention, the energy of the prose' Daily Telegraph
'Kicks off at a furious lick and just gets faster, hotter, louder-Hugely, unremittingly entertaining' Scotsman
'Sequels often disappoint, but here is one that's every bit as sharp, as surprising and as satisfying as the original' Guardian
Publication date: 01/09/2005
|Publication date:||1st September 2005|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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 SteinMore About Roddy Doyle