Smile

Smile

Book - 2017
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"A breakout from the Booker-prize-winning novelist Roddy Doyle. A psychological suspense novel unlike any he's written before, about how we contend with the past, trauma, guilt and regret, and the uncertainty of memory. Who is unreliable? Just moved in to 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 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 high school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity. Smile has all the features for which Roddy Doyle has become famous: the razor-sharp dialogue, the humour, the superb evocation of adolescence--but this is a novel unlike any he has written before. When you finish the last page you will have been challenged to re-evaluate everything you think you remember so clearly."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780735224445
0735224447
Characteristics: 214 pages ; 22 cm

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JCLChrisK May 14, 2018

This is a book that lingers long after it's done. The writing and story are such that it makes an impression from the start, then a reveal at the end gets the reader's brain churning it over again and again. That reveal recasts what has come before in a way that is both explanatory and ambiguous--things weren't what they seemed, but it's hard to be sure just how much different than related. Needless to say, it effectively shocks, and makes the social issues raised by the narrator's tale all the more painful. Relevant, moving, and powerful.

y
yaseminblock
Apr 09, 2018

Doyle had me take a double-take with the twisted end. It made the story even darker - - - !spoiler!:
no, the protagonist didn’t escape the rapist catholic teachers. Sad. The whole story flips.

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uncommonreader
Apr 07, 2018

A middle-aged man comes to reflect on his secondary school education by Christian Brothers and what his life might have been had he not suffered this trauma.

o
okbookgirl
Jan 12, 2018

Doyle always amazes me with his writing abilities and his empathetic way of getting into his characters' skin, and - this time - under yours! This is a short, suspenseful and very creepy book. (The brilliant cover, at least in the Canadian edition, reinforces that creepiness; it uses that paper which feels greasy and yucky to the touch.) If you prefer to think that life is all sunshine and lollipops, or you are offended by the F-word and the C-word, you might not like this. But if you want a good story written by one of the very best writers of our time, read this.

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p_snoop
Dec 26, 2017

I discovered the ingredients to coddle and griddle cake a traditional Irish breakfast. Coddle has bacon, sausage, onions, potato, fresh parsley with broth baked for hours.

The book Smile is about the serious topic "rape".

l
laphampeak
Dec 25, 2017

Well crafted novel about a struggling writer, who in the present time, slowly conjures up a dark part of his past. I wanted to not like it but was compelled by the character and Doyle's slow reveal. Worth a read!

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leewardside
Nov 19, 2017

Bizarre.

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p_snoop
Dec 20, 2017

Ambition was a decision, not a trait. Page 46, Smile

p
p_snoop
Dec 20, 2017

I was savaging kids who were getting younger than me by the month.

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p_snoop
Dec 25, 2017

p_snoop thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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