23 December 2014

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Title: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
Author: Roddy Doyle
Pages: 282
Genre: Contemporary
Book Description: 
In Roddy Doyle's Booker Prize-winning novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, an Irish lad named Paddy rampages through the streets of Barrytown with a pack of like-minded hooligans, playing cowboys and Indians, etching their names in wet concrete, and setting fires. Roddy Doyle has captured the sensations and speech patterns of preadolescents with consummate skill, and managed to do so without resorting to sentimentality. Paddy Clarke and his friends are not bad boys; they're just a little bit restless. They're always taking sides, bullying each other, and secretly wishing they didn't have to. All they want is for something--anything--to happen.

My Opinion:
I really didn't enjoy this book. I had to read it for college, so I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I saw it in a bookshop but I persevered and finished it.

When I first opened the book I noticed that the font was almost in bold. This is probably just because of the copy I bought but it was still irritating. Secondly, the writing style is very annoying because the author doesn't use speech marks. Instead they indent using dashes when someone is speaking; this I found very frustrating although unique... Lastly, there were no chapters which I personally disliked because I always ended up having to stop at random places.

The story line was very slow paced and nothing really happened. There was no climax and all we heard about was Paddy's adventures with his friends. I have to admit some of these stories and adventures were entertaining but in general they were all pretty boring.

I did like how it was written in the perspective of a child. This is quite difficult to do and I think the author successfully managed to create Paddy's voice in a captivating manner. Not many novels are written in younger children's voices so I do enjoy novels where this has been done well.

The other part I liked was the ending. It was a happy end and I liked how we finally understand what the title means (the Ha Ha Ha part)

Overall I wouldn't recommend this book. It's good if you want to read something that doesn't have a set plot and is very casual but there are more things I disliked than liked.

Favourite Quotes:

I was the ref. I was the ref they didn’t know about. Deaf and dumb. Invisible as a wall. I wanted no one to win


I jumped on Sinbad's bottle. Nothing happened. I didn't do it again. Sometimes when nothing happened it was really getting ready to happen

Rating ★ 
 2 out of 5 stars

Next book I'm going to review:
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle


  1. I think I will probably avoid this book, though I am curious as to what the "ha ha ha" is referencing to now.
    That cover is pretty interesting though. Does it tie in with the story?
    I had to read a book for school without quotation marks this year, and it was the most frustrating thing. I know it's said to make the writing more fluid, but honestly it made it harder for me because I had to pause to make sense of who was talking and such.
    Great review! :)

    1. Everything in the cover is part of the story yes. I purchased a copy with a different cover but I wish I had got this one because it's more creative and I like the colours and cartoon aspect.
      Yeah I really didn't like the style. There were no chapters and no quotation marks and the font was almost in bold which I think is also just due to the copy I bought :(
      I was speaking to my Grandma and she told me that Roddy Doyle is actually supposed to be a well known/ really good author so I might pick up a book with a synopsis that intrigues me personally but I'm not sure yet :)

  2. Oh, this doesn't seem like the kind of book I would read myself. It's a shame you couldn't like it. And the idea of the formatting being so bizzare - no speech marks! - would definitely get on my nerves. I was curious about one set in Ireland because I have read another book that was great and set there (A Cry From the Deep, Diana Stevan) but I think I will give this one a miss.

    1. Yeah I really don't recommend it ahaaa. The formatting was the main thing that irritated me but the story line just didn't have anything to it either :( It's a shame because I half of my English exam is based on this book!


Hello and thank you for commenting! I advise you to tick the box that says 'Notify me' so you will be sent an email when I reply to you! I will do this asap.
If you have any further questions don't hesitate to send me an email!