Book - 2017
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Who is unreliable? 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 high school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.
Publisher: London :, Jonathan Cape,, 2017.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 213 pages ;,22 cm.


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Aug 28, 2020

I'm still not over this book! I love Roddy Doyle. I love that he makes me laugh and feel nostalgia about so many things. But oh my this book. What an ending. How does a person deal with trauma, really? It was wonderful, and I thoroughly hated it. I wanted it to work out. I wanted a sequel like Paula Spencer. I wanted justice, too. It's so Irish.

Feb 10, 2019

A novel where memory buries the truth ,forcing
It’s protagonist to leave the safety of his imagination and confront the past .
A past muddied with banal and sordid details from Ireland’s shameful legacy of
Church ,school and clergy .
Ireland heals through its brilliant writers like Doyle.

Dec 08, 2018

If you like Roddy Doyle, this is a fine book. The story isn't the best part of the book, But the way Doyle tells it is a revelation of growing up in Ireland, with the casual bullying and confusion of sex vs contraception, lust vs Catholicism. Reading the poetic rhythms of a pub conversation reminds you that Doyle is of the people, and he is a phenomenal talent in the world of literature. While the novel is slight in size, and the plot line has been done before, this novel reminds me that Roddy Doyle is still the man.

JCLChrisK May 14, 2018

This is a book that lingers long after it's done. The writing and story are such that it makes an impression from the start, then a reveal at the end gets the reader's brain churning it over again and again. That reveal recasts what has come before in a way that is both explanatory and ambiguous--things weren't what they seemed, but it's hard to be sure just how much different than related. Needless to say, it effectively shocks, and makes the social issues raised by the narrator's tale all the more painful. Relevant, moving, and powerful.

Apr 09, 2018

Doyle had me take a double-take with the twisted end. It made the story even darker - - - !spoiler!:
no, the protagonist didn’t escape the rapist catholic teachers. Sad. The whole story flips.

Apr 07, 2018

A middle-aged man comes to reflect on his secondary school education by Christian Brothers and what his life might have been had he not suffered this trauma.

Jan 12, 2018

Doyle always amazes me with his writing abilities and his empathetic way of getting into his characters' skin, and - this time - under yours! This is a short, suspenseful and very creepy book. (The brilliant cover, at least in the Canadian edition, reinforces that creepiness; it uses that paper which feels greasy and yucky to the touch.) If you prefer to think that life is all sunshine and lollipops, or you are offended by the F-word and the C-word, you might not like this. But if you want a good story written by one of the very best writers of our time, read this.

Dec 26, 2017

I discovered the ingredients to coddle and griddle cake a traditional Irish breakfast. Coddle has bacon, sausage, onions, potato, fresh parsley with broth baked for hours.

The book Smile is about the serious topic "rape".

Dec 25, 2017

Well crafted novel about a struggling writer, who in the present time, slowly conjures up a dark part of his past. I wanted to not like it but was compelled by the character and Doyle's slow reveal. Worth a read!

Nov 19, 2017



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Dec 20, 2017

Ambition was a decision, not a trait. Page 46, Smile

Dec 20, 2017

I was savaging kids who were getting younger than me by the month.

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Dec 25, 2017

p_snoop thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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