86. Smile (Roddy Doyle)

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 10.08.43 PMThank you to Knopf Canada for providing an advanced reader copy of Smile, through a Goodreads Giveaway.  This is an honest review.

Smile tells the story of Victor, a lonely man who spends his evenings in a local pub.  His relationship is over and he bumps into an old “friend” named Fitzpatrick, who he can’t quite remember, from their days at the Christian Brothers school.  They reminisce and Victor recalls his days as a school boy.

I have to admit that I hate coming across the “c” word in books.  It turns me right off the text and makes my skin crawl.  I can deal with swearing but that word makes me want to close the book!  Since it was a giveaway, I kept on reading although I still think this did nothing to add to the story.  It made be dislike the characters and made me strive to finish the book and move on.

The novel cleverly reveals a past history that Victor has repressed.  He slowly remembers and the reader begins to question his sanity.  Overall, the book tells a story and at the end “you will be challenged to re-evaluate everything you think you remember so clearly”.  Other than my frustration with that word, the book shared a coming of age story with Victor’s struggles to come to terms with a sentinel event at the school.  It was a creepy and unsettling story that leaves the reader thinking about what happened to Victor.

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7 Responses to 86. Smile (Roddy Doyle)

  1. Naomi says:

    Ha, I wasn’t expecting you to say it was “creepy” and “unsettling” with that title! Hmm… I might start with one of his other books I haven’t read yet.


  2. indiefan20 says:

    About the use of the ‘c’ word… I understand it isn’t nearly as big a deal in the U.K. as it is here. An British online acquaintance of mine once joked that it’s ‘practically a term of endearment.’ 😀 However, I understand why you might have problem with it, but I personally don’t have an issue with any kind of bad language being used in fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am ok with the language but that word is particularly offensive to me. Hard to imagine it almost being a “term of endearment” but then again, language does seem to morph as what was once acceptable is now socially inappropriate and vice versa.


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