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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Smile by Roddy Doyle | Book Review


Smile by Roddy Doyle (published by Knopf Canada)

Description: Victor Forde is down on his luck and out on his ear. He’s recently split from his wife, has moved into a subpar apartment, and is looking for some social time (without too many attachments). He finds himself down at the local pub where he runs into a former school mate named Fitzpatrick. Victor doesn’t quite remember this guy as a lad he hung out with, but Fitzpatrick knows a lot about their time together at school. The chance encounter gets Victor thinking about their school days at a Christian Brothers school. There was bullying, taunts about being queer, and the ever-present authority of the Brothers.

Disclaimer: There’s a psycho-thriller element to this story and not everything is as it seems.

Smile is the perfect book for Roddy Doyle fans. If you are drawn to dark, gritty dramas then this is a great read, although an unsettling subject.

Favourite Moment: An early scene in the novel sets the stage and provides context for the title of the novel. The boys are in French class and want to get out of their weekend homework. Victor is goaded into making the request on their behalf. Brother Murphy turns from the board and says “Victor Forde, I can never resist your smile.” Creepy!


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