A Star Called Henry
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, 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. An historical novel like none before it, A STAR CALLED HENRY marks a new chapter in Roddy Doyle's writing. It is a vastly more ambitious book than any he has written before. A subversive look behind the legends of Irish republicanism, at its centre a passionate love story, this is a triumphant work of fiction.