Reviews of Knick Knack Paddy Whack by Ardal O'Hanlon

Knick Knack Paddy Whack

A Novel

by Ardal O'Hanlon

Knick Knack Paddy Whack by Ardal O'Hanlon X
Knick Knack Paddy Whack by Ardal O'Hanlon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 256 pages

    Paperback:
    Jul 2001, 256 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Not since The Catcher in the Rye has literature seen a young man with as much contempt for hypocrisy and phoniness as Patrick Scully, the nineteen-year-old narrator of this outrageous account.

A surprise bestseller in Britain, this edgy and funny novel about youthful rage and rebellion calls to mind the fiction of Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby.

Not since Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye has literature seen a young man with as much contempt for hypocrisy and phoniness as Patrick Scully, the nineteen-year-old narrator of this outrageous account of frustrations and dreams.

Stuck in a dead-end job as a security guard in Dublin, while his friends pursue what he regards as useless degrees at the university, Scully escapes for a weekend to his hometown of Castlecock. He's joined there by his Dublin roommate and childhood chum, Xavier "Balls" O'Reilly, and the two of them embark on a rollicking weekend of carousing, drinking, and depravity. Truth to tell, Scully enjoys being away from his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Francesca Kelly, who has gone to visit her mother in Wicklow. Scully's aware that he and Francesca are drifting apart and he's wondering why. The answer resides in Francesca's much-too-candid diary, in which she confides her heart's true affections. Of course, Scully himself is hardly a saint in matters of the flesh, and when on his first night home he finds himself out back of a dance hall with a girl he's just met, it's clear that nothing but trouble lies ahead.

When he returns to Dublin, Scully's life spirals downward and out of control. But his indefatigable sense of humor and uncompromising candor never desert him, and it's clear that Scully may be down but he's not out. Laced with searing wit and brilliant language, Knick Knack Paddy Whack builds to a shocking climax as the duplicity of Scully's so-called friends dawns on him and becomes more than he can bear. Disturbing and funny at the same time, Ardal O'Hanlon's book places him among the best of the new breed of Irish writers.

'Bangers, five for fifty. Get your bangers, sparklers and stinkbombs. Five for fifty, the bangers, love!'

A crowd of oul' toothless women hawking in harmony. Selling contraband fireworks from deep inside their knickers for Bonfire Night.

The rain was bucketing down at this stage. Some chance of those bangers going off, love, I thought to myself. Damp squibs. It was torrential altogether. McKenna and myself were standing in the doorway of some art gallery not saying a word. Hands in the pockets, fingering a couple of rings, my rucksack on the ground. He only had a plastic VG bag. That was all he had to his name, no coat or nothing, no family, no friends. Soaked to the skin, shivering, sleeves of his jumper pulled down over his hands. There were about twenty others waiting for the last bus to Castlecock. Some of them looked vaguely familiar, to be avoided like the plague.

I had a few days off for Hallowe'en so I decided to go home. As a matter of fact, from ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Esquire (UK)
A fine debut, by turns thrilling and chilling.

Mail on Sunday (London)
Fluently written and excellently constructed. A funny, moving and finally horrifying tale.

The Observer (London)
A kind of cross between The Diary of Adrian Mole and The Butcher Boy. O'Hanlon is extremely funny on the rituals and frustrations of small-town life.

Irish Times
A robust and resonant read. A skillful and thoughtful work that will shake, rattle and roll the reader into submission.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Knick Knack Paddy Whack, try these:

  • Maybe A Miracle jacket

    Maybe A Miracle

    by Brian Strause

    Published 2006

    About this book

    By turns humorous and heartbreaking, personal and sweeping, familiar and extraordinary, Brian Strause's first novel takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey into America's heartland.

  • The Sleeping Father jacket

    The Sleeping Father

    by Matthew Sharpe

    Published 2003

    About this book

    'At once tragic and madcap, Sharpe's second novel offers an acidly funny portrait of a 'diminished nuclear unit' coping with its patriarch's pharmacologically induced stroke.'

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Bitch
    Bitch
    by Lucy Cooke
    In middle school biology class, many of us were told that men hunt and women nest, that testosterone...
  • Book Jacket: Jackie & Me
    Jackie & Me
    by Louis Bayard
    Louis Bayard's Jackie & Me offers a fictionalized version of the early relationship between John F. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Facemaker
    The Facemaker
    by Lindsey Fitzharris
    The summer of 1914 saw the beginning of World War I, the bloody conflict known as the 'war to end ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Read Now
    How to Read Now
    by Elaine Castillo
    Toni Morrison once wrote, 'My project rises from delight, not disappointment.' This remark appeared ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Widowland
    by C. J. Carey

    A thrilling feminist dystopian novel set in an alternate 1950s Britain under the control of the Third Reich.

  • Book Jacket

    Some of It Was Real
    by Nan Fischer

    A psychic on the verge of stardom and a cynical journalist are brought together by secrets that threaten to tear them apart.

Who Said...

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wishes W H B W R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.