Review: A Star Called Henry

Roddy Doyle (1999)

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that anything this guy writes is going to make it on to one of my Best of the Year book lists. (The Van, is on my ’94 list, and The Woman Who Walked into Doors made the list in ’97.)

I snatched this book off the library shelf just on the strength of the author’s past work, not because I was particularly interested in the story. Halfway through, I couldn’t put it down. I was completely drawn to the first-person tale of Henry Smart, an Irish youth who comes of age in the Irish Republican Army. The powerful writing, vibrant main character, and intriguing historical background (beginning with a vivid account of the Easter Rising of 1916) add up to an excellent book. This book is the first in Doyle’s latest series (“The Last Roundup”), and I predict it’s only a matter of time before we see this story on the big screen.

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