Saturday, March 01, 2008

Roddy Doyle, Paula Spencer

Roddy Doyle, Paula Spencer. I really like Roddy Doyle - he's funny and gritty, and not too self-conscious. Paula is a rough, loving, recovering alcoholic struggling to stay dry and discover who she actually is. She's a working class house cleaner, widow, and parent relearning life. She's living in the new Ireland, but stuck in the economic past. She's great. She's grand. The only thing that struck me as a little off was the huge amount of pop culture references - they weren't jarring or anything, but the book's only a year old and I was struggling to connect some of them (but they were not pathetic, like poor Tom Wolfe's awful I am Charlotte Simmons) and they do work because the story is embedded in a very specific place and time.

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