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Just moved into a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly's for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and a pink shirt comes over and sits down. He seems to know Victor's name and to remember him from secondary school. 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 - of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor's own small claim to fame, as the man who would say the unsayable on the radio. But it's the memories of school, and of one particular brother, that Victor 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 humor, the superb evocation of adolescence, but this is a novel unlike any he has written before. When you finish the last minute, you will have been challenged to reevaluate everything you think you remember so clearly.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Laurie A. Bobskill on 11-02-17
The conclusion will take your breath away.
To say that I Iiked Smile would be a wrong. Rather it gripped me. Doyle's narration is perfect. Few authors can pull it off--voicing their own works. Stephen King can, and Roddy Doyle can.
They share other attributes: an ease with natural dialogue, a knack for showing us their characters from the inside out, and an ability to subtly build suspense. And a talent for giving us endings as sharp as a switchblade.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful