The AHS faculty talk about books.

"A Star Called Henry" by Roddy Doyle

Review written by: Chinggoy Hidalgo

Book Watch, Vol.1, Issue 4

This first novel in The Last Roundup trilogy is a chronicle of the life of Henry Smart, a strapping Irish lad who just happens to run smack into the middle of the Easter Rising of 1916. Recruited by the Irish Republican Army, he proves to be a trusted soldier, training younger recruits and eventually marrying a fiery and passionate member of the same cause. Disheartened by the dirty politics and brutal tactics of his organization and his wife’s unfortunate imprisonment, Henry is forced by his former comrades to flee to America.

A departure from Doyle’s comic and touching novels, the book shows how Doyle can also tackle more serious subject matter. The laughs abound, though, as Henry and his father manage to charm their way into our lives, while taking life’s disasters head on, almost without hesitation. Henry’s boundless optimism and sense of hope shine through lighting the seemingly bleak and terrible corners of his experiences. At times tragic and emotionally wrenching, the novel simply does what a first volume of a trilogy should do: triumphantly stand alone and whet your appetite for the next installment.


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