A Star Called Henry

A Star Called Henry

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
An historical novel like none before it, A Star Called Henry marks a new chapter in Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle's writing. It is a vastly more ambitious book than any he has previously written. A subversive look behind the legends of Irish republicanism, at its centre a passionate love story, this new novel is a triumphant work of fiction. Born in the slums of Dublin in 1902, his father a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing, begging, charming, often cold, always hungry, but a prince of the streets. At fourteen, already six foot two, Henry's in the General Post Office on Easter Monday 1916, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army, fighting for freedom. A year later he's ready to die for Ireland again, a rebel, a Fenian, and, soon, a killer. With his father's wooden leg as his weapon, Henry becomes a republican legend - one of Michael Collins' boys, a cop killer, an assassin on a stolen bike, a lover.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 1999
Edition: 1st Canadian ed. --
ISBN: 9780676972351
Branch Call Number: FIC Doyle 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 343 p. --


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 05, 2014

a masterpiece, brilliant, funny and very observant of the political situation before and after the British left

Oct 01, 2011

This book takes us into the life of Henry Smart who faces a life of poverty growing up in the poverty of Ireland in the early 1900s. He comes to follow in his own father's footsteps (wooden leg in hand) as an escapist, who joins the Irish Republican Army as a hitman. It was an enjoyable read, but Dowell's writing will not serve as an enticement for me to read the next two books in this trilogy. (Nov 2006)

Apr 19, 2010

My brother and father convinced me to read this by telling me it was about an Irish guy who knocks in heads with his dad's old wooden leg. That pretty much sold me.

I didn't care much for the rest of the trilogy, but never mind that; read this one, and then stop there. It's a brilliant romp for adolescents and adults alike.

Nov 02, 2007

Read this before you read Oh Play that Thing. It is the first part.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Apr 19, 2010

mclauia thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at WPPL

To Top