Latest Issue

Easter 1916, Ha Ha Ha

Roddy Doyle has written a dangerous book - and a historical masterpiece

By prospect   November 1999

Roddy Doyle’s special talent is for speech which reveals the soul in a way that normal talk never does. Schoolboys (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), battered wives (The Woman Who Walked Into Doors) and soul music fans (The Commitments) are all more or less contemporary figures baring their all. In his latest novel we have something new: a figure from the past. Henry Smart, in his street voice, tells us his story.

Henry, the son of a one-legged brothel bouncer-cum-hitman, was born in a Dublin slum at the start of the century. He grows up a garrulous and infinitely resourceful…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect