The Vintage Podcast

Roddy Doyle on school days, pubs and the perfect title

Dublin-born Roddy Doyle joins Alex Clark to discuss his new book, Smileand the real life experiences that influenced his writing

In this episode of the Vintage Podcast, Roddy Doyle tells us how pub culture influences his friendships, and which school-day memory influenced the title of his new book.



Roddy Doyle

Just moved into 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 a 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 school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control - and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

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