A Star Called Henry

  • by Roddy Doyle
  • Narrated by Roddy Doyle
  • 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Born in the slums of Dublin in 1901, his father a one-legged whore-house bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing, begging, often cold, always hungry, but a prince of the streets. At 14, already six-foot-two, Henry's in the General Post Office on Easter Monday 1916, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army, fighting for freedom. A year later he's ready to die for Ireland again, a rebel, a Fenian and soon, a killer. With his father's wooden leg as his weapon, Henry becomes a republican legend, one of Michael Collins' boys, a cop killer, an assassin on a stolen bike. An historical novel like none before it, A Star Called Henry marks a new chapter in Roddy Doyle's writing. It is a vastly more ambitious book than any he has written before. A subversive look behind the legends of Irish republicanism, at its centre a passionate love story, this is a triumphant work of fiction.


What the Critics Say

"This is a radical departure for Doyle, and a stunning success." (Amazon.co.uk)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent story and narration

Listened with partner and home educated teenager (eek, lots of underage sex!) during the period of the centenary of the Easter Rising. The writing is excellent, like swift poetry, as is Roddy's telling, which regularly went into snippets of song and kept the humour deadpan. I also appreciated, towards the end of the story, the critique of the modern Irish culture yet to come, which took this period of hope and desperation and turned it into something many involved would have cringed at. I was at a commemorative event for the Rising recently when the local mayor ascertained that the leaders of the Rising would have been proud of Ireland as it stands. I doubt it somehow, particularly for those with the harder line Socialist outlook.... Thousands of homeless children and yet so many empty houses and entire empty estates while the government and banks manufacture a mini property bubble, 'the great oil and gas giveaway', the few refugees let in kept in institutions, etc, etc. Personally I see Connolly spinning in his grave.

I very rarely read or listen to fiction but I loved this. Recommend.
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- galacticcamper

Love Roddy Doyle Books

Loved it as a hard back and have re read and listened to it many times since. Fantastically entertaining although the narration isn't always the best.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-01-2006
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks