by Sukey HowardDecember, 1999
The Roddy Doyle phenomenon
Doyle, wonderful writer and reader, winner of the prestigious Booker Prize (the only Irish novelist ever to do so), portrayer of the gritty underside of urban life in Ireland today, has turned the historical clock back to the first two decades of this century in A Star Called Henry (6 hours), the first of a promised, promising trilogy. Henry, born in 1901, goes from barefoot street urchin to active participant in the 1916 Easter Rising to loyal IRA assassin. Handsome, strong, reckless, a passionate lover of women and the cause, he's used to hard knocks and gives as good as he gets. Doyle mingles historical characters with fictional ones, but his history is impeccable. This picture of the complicated political past helps explain the complicated political present.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.