Smile by Roddy Doyle
A Novel

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Like all good literature, it will inspire debate but also admiration for the courage of a hugely successful writer who refuses to be predictable and uses the novel to challenge both the reader’s sense of ease and the nature of the form itself.
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the author of the Booker Prize winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, a bold, haunting novel about the uncertainty of memory and how we contend with the past.

Just moved into a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly’s for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and a pink shirt comes over and sits down. He seems to know Victor’s name and to remember him from secondary school. 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—of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor’s own small claim to fame, as the man who would say the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular brother, that Victor cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

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

About Roddy Doyle

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RODDY DOYLE is the author of nine novels, most recently The Dead Republic, a collection of short stories, and a nonfiction book about the lives of his parents. In 1993 he won the Man Booker Prize for his novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and his novel The Van was a finalist for the prize. He has also written four screenplays as well as several stage plays and books for children and young adults. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
 
Published October 17, 2017 by Viking. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by JOHN BOYNE on Sep 01 2017

Like all good literature, it will inspire debate but also admiration for the courage of a hugely successful writer who refuses to be predictable and uses the novel to challenge both the reader’s sense of ease and the nature of the form itself.

Read Full Review of Smile: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

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