Smile|Roddy Doyle
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From the author of the Booker Prize winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, a bold, haunting novel about the uncertainty of memory and how we contend with the past.

It's his bravest novel yet; it's also, by far, his best. --

"The closest thing he's written to a psychological thriller.- The New York Times Book Review

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 page you will have been challenged to reevaluate everything you think you remember so clearly.

This item is Non-Returnable


  • ISBN-13: 9780735224469
  • ISBN-10: 0735224463
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish Date: October 2018
  • Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.39 pounds
  • Page Count: 224


Irish author Roddy Doyle delivers a daring narrative about the power of the past with his 11th novel, Smile. After a breakup with his wife, Victor Forde leads a solitary life as a writer, and he begins frequenting a local pub, where he meets a man named Ed Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick claims to remember Victor from school and is familiar with his personal history. After this strange encounter, Victor goes home to his apartment, where he’s soon lost in the maze of memory, recalling his student years at Christian Brothers school. In the days to come, as Victor continues to encounter Fitzpatrick and to recall his youth, an alarming discovery regarding his past brings about the book’s unforgettable finish. Doyle, the Booker Prize-winning author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, has written an electrifying novel that explores the importance—and imprecision—of memory. With its surprising conclusion, this haunting book will spur fascinating conversations.


This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.