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Book reviews for "O'Hanlon,_Ardal" sorted by average review score:

The Talk of the Town
Published in Audio Cassette by Trafalgar Square Computer & Audio (1998)
Author: Ardal O'Hanlon
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Irish comic O'Hanlon has written a largely unmemorable coming of age novel starring the entirely unsympathetic and creepy 18-year-old Patrick. He works as a security guard in Dublin and periodically takes the bus to his home hamlet on weekends, allowing the reader a glimpse into both city and small town life in early '80s Ireland. While certain set pieces and milieus are descriptively evoked, the overall story of the ethically confused boy and his relationship with college student Francesca doesn't really hold together. The novel is more effective when it breaks off into excerpts from Franceca's diary, detailing her side of their relationship. However, this too, is problematic, as you know that eventually Patrick will be reading it, and only bad things will result. All in all, it lacks the humor I had expected, and is very bleak. Elements of it are highly reminiscent of The Butcher Boy.

True to its title
This is Ardal O'Hanlon's debut novel. I say debut, because I hope that it is not the last that he writes. O'Hanlon's talents stretch far beyond the playing of Father Dougal Macguire in Channel 4's cult comedy, Father Ted. As befitting the novel of a comedian, this is a highly humorous read. However, this is black, cynical comedy of the highest order. Unlike Father Dougal, there's nothing dim or cute about this book, which plumbs the depths of darkest despair. It is the story of Patrick Scully, a young Irishman in early Eighties Dublin, and of his mounting rage at the incomprehensible world which springs up around him. The novel benefits a great deal from the structure that O'Hanlon has created. Part of the novel derives from the diary of Francesca, Scully's girlfriend, and provides a powerful insight into how Scully is seen by others. Here, Scully is truly from Mars, and Francesca from Venus, and their stormy relationship could fuel any number of Self-help books. I was particularly impressed by the portrayal of Francesca, whom O'Hanlon imbues with a real depth of character. There are a few moments of caricature, namely Scully's mother, but even she has a certain amount of truth. "The Talk of the Town" is one of the best reads I've had this year, and the novel certainly lives up to its name.

The Pure Finest
This is like "The Butcher Boy", only funnier. A great read, Ardal's comic talent shines through. Do yourself a favor and buy it.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack
Published in Hardcover by Henry Holt & Company, Inc. (1900)
Author: Ardal O'Hanlon
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Interesting Read
Mr. O'Hanlon's debut novel will certainly be a memorable one for me. I was intrigued with his interpretation of small town life in Ireland. Although the author gives us a young woman's view through Francesca's Diary, the narrator, Patrick Scully, leaves the strongest impression. The author's characters are well developed and strong. The only thing I worried about in this debut was the extent of the language and some scenes.

Patrick Scully is a security guard in Dublin. He doesn't like Dublin because they are rude and not at all like the friendly folks in his hometown of Castlecock. When he comes home for a visit, he has a memorable experience that will affect his life and relationship with his on again-off again girlfriend Francesca. The reader is drawn through Scully, Francesca, and Xavier's lives, emotions, decisions, and outcomes.

Mr. O'Hanlon's story captures the struggling emotions youth experience when changing from teen to young adult. He captures their lack of faith in life, and lets the reader hear it through their brash, colorful words. It was an interesting read.

Brenda @

A good first book by a talented comedian
When I started reading this book I found it hard to put it down...picking it up at every free moment I had and continueing to read on. I must admit, though, that the "shocking conclusion" didn't actually shock very much, but for Ardal's first book it was very good. Will deffinately check out future books by this irish comedian!

Excellent tale
In 1983 Dublin, nineteen-year old Patrick Scully works as a security guard in a jewelry store. Through his roommate, college student Xavier "Balls" O'Reilly, Patrick meets another student Francesca Kelly. While Patrick thinks Francesca is his girlfriend, her diary entries suggest otherwise sating she loves Balls.

Francesca returns to her hometown to visit her mother. Balls and Patrick also go home to their village. Though he believes overall that he is an honorable and faithful person, Patrick picks up a girl at the local pub and shares sex. He desperately tries to bury his guilty feelings involving what he has done to Francesca. All Patrick wanted was his relationship with to continue, while the growing more independent woman wanted to end it.

KNICK KNACK PADDY WHACK is an interesting characters-driven look at a young adult trying to grasp onto anything that will stop him from drowning in society's hypocrisy. The plot is clearly Patrick's tale even though the absence of Francesca adds to the excitement. Patrick uses humor to defuse his growing dark feelings and to survive in a world that he loathes. Ardal O'Hanlon scores with his debut novel that focuses on the dichotomy of feelings and disenchantment that late teens feel as they step into the realm of adulthood.

Ardal O'Hanlon Live
Published in Audio Cassette by Polygram Spoken Word (1998)
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