The Irish Quarter
Please share your thoughts on the best of contemporary Irish novels with us
The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle is the third book in a trilogy that deals with Henry Smart who we first meet as a very young child on the rough streets of Dublin in the first decade of the 20th century in A Star Called Henry, then we follow him to the United States in Play That Thing and The Dead Republic takes him back to Ireland in 1951 when he is 49 and stays there with him until he is 106. In the last book of the trilogy he is working as a consultant for the American film maker, John Ford on his movie about the IRA and the times of troubles that Henry lived through, The Informant.
I am really glad I read these three books. They are all what I would call fast reads. I enjoyed the first one of the series for sure the most, the second one where he meets the American musician Louis Armstrong seemed a little contrived in its plot but still was very interesting. The final work was the weakest one of the trilogy but it is still not bad. For sure read the first book first and if and only if you really like it proceed on. In the last book the part I liked best was when Henry met the Irish American actress Margaret O'Hara. There is a lot of history to be learned from these three novels.
I will read more Doyle in 2013. I have now read five of his novels.