Oh, play that thing

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Jonathan Cape, Sep 2, 2004 - Fiction - 376 pages
11 Reviews
On the last page of A Star Called Henry, we left Henry Smart on the run from his Republican paymasters, the men for whom he had perpetrated murder and mayhem. He flees from Dublin to Liverpool and from thence to Ellis Island, New York, America. And this is where Oh, Play That Thing begins... It's 1924, and New York is the centre of the universe. Henry falls on his feet, as a handsome man with a sandwich board, and - this being Prohibition - behind his sandwich board a stash of hooch for the speak-easies of the Lower East Side. When he starts hiring kids to carry boards for him, he catches the attention of the mobsters who run the district and soon there are eyes on his back and men in the shadows. It is time to leave, for another America: Chicago. In Chicago there is no past waiting to jump on Henry. The place is wild, as new as he is, and newest of all is the music. Furious, wild, happy music played by a man with a trumpet and bleeding lips called Louis Armstrong. His music is everywhere, coming from every open door, every phonograph. But Armstrong is a prisoner of his colour; there are places a black man cannot go, things he cannot do. And the mob is in Chicago too: they own every stage - and they own the man up on the stage. Armstrong needs a man, a white man, and the man he chooses is Henry Smart. A novel of prodigious energy and invention. Its language and rhythms are as breathtaking as the music it celebrates. It shows yet again that as a writer Roddy Doyle is unequalled in his vision, his ambition, his ability to surprise us with each new novel.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ozzie65 - LibraryThing

I love the work of Roddy Doyle. It started when I read The Commitments when it first came out and it has never wavered. His unique voice, complete with Irish as it’s spoken on the ground and in the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daftboy1 - LibraryThing

I had high hopes for this book as I really loved A star called Henry. We now move on a few years from the previous book. Henry is on the run heads to America meets some dodgy people and Louis ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
5
Section 3
9
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Roddy Doyle is the author of five previous novels, including a Booker Prize nominee, The Van, and a Booker Prize winning international bestseller Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. He has also written several screenplays, most recently When Brendan Met Trudy. His first children's book, The Giggler Treatment, will be published in September by Scholastic. He lives in Dublin.

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