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Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
(Roddy Doyle)

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is a collection of memories of a boy, around the age of ten, living in a small town in Ireland in times where Da?s went out to work, your Ma stayed home and did the cooking and washing, and everyone else?s parents were known as Mister and Missus. Where everyone knew everyone?s business and the land is increasingly being eaten up by housing estates.

Although the story does not appear to move forward in years as such, you can appreciate the growing knowledge and awareness of Paddy as the novel goes on.

Paddy learns many lessons about human behaviour, acting as a silent witness to his parents increasing arguments. The story line explores how he feels about these arguments, and the ways he believes he can prevent them. It also deals with his relationships ? with the other boys in his class and area, and with ?Sinbad?, or Francis ? his younger brother.

His two sisters are barely mentioned as the young girls have little or no influence over a ten year old boy?s life, whereas Sinbad is a very central character.

Paddy also assesses his relationship with his friends and his loyalties shift throughout the book. He seems to be in awe of Kevin, undoubtedly the leader of the gang due to his bullying tactics, until Charles Leavy comes along and usurps Kevin, and wins Paddy?s admiration and utmost respect.
The story is witty and full of shocking antics, including violence, both physical and emotional inflicted by, and upon, the boys in the story. There are many typically irish words and turns of phrase throughout the book and although you feel you should be disapproving and shocked at some of the boys actions, you can?t help but laugh as you read.

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