WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 1993
Paddy Clarke is ten years old. Paddy Clarke lights fires. Paddy Clarke's name is written in wet cement all over Barrytown. Paddy Clarke's heroes are Father Damien (and the lepers), Geronimo and George Best. Paddy Clarke knows the exact moment to knock a dead scab from his knee. Paddy Clarke hates his brother Francis because that’s the rule. Paddy Clarke loves his Ma and Da, but it seems like they don't love each other, and Paddy wants to understand, but can't.
See also: Cal by Bernard MacLaverty
Funny, warm and enriching.
Truthful, hilarious, painfully sad
Gloriously triumphant...confirms Doyle as the best novelist of his generation
It is 1968. Paddy Clarke is ten years old, breathless with discovery. He reads with a child's voraciousness, collecting facts the way adults collect grey hairs and parking tickets. Doyle captures the speech patterns of childhood brilliantly, the weird logic of the incessant questions, the non-sequiturs and wonderments... Like all great comic writers, Roddy Doyle has become an explorer of the deepest places of the heart, of love and pain and loss. This is one of the most compelling novels I've read in ages, a triumph of style and perception
Dublin-born Roddy Doyle joins Alex Clark to discuss his new book, Smile, and the real life experiences that influenced his writing