The Dead Republic (Hardcover)
Viking Adult, 9780670021772, 336pp.
Publication Date: April 29, 2010
May 2010 Indie Next List
— Carl Hoffman, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
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The triumphant conclusion to the trilogy that began with A Star Called Henry
Roddy Doyle's irrepressible Irish rebel Henry Smart is back-and he is not mellowing with age. Saved from death in California's Monument Valley by none other than Henry Fonda, he ends up in Hollywood collaborating with legendary director John Ford on a script based on his life. Returning to Ireland in 1951 to film The Quiet Man- which to Henry's consternation has been completely sentimentalized-he severs his relationship with Ford.
His career in film over, Henry settles into a quiet life in a village north of Dublin, where he finds work as a caretaker for a boys' school and takes up with a woman named Missus O'Kelly, whom he suspects- but is not quite sure-may be his long-lost wife, the legendary Miss O'Shea. After being injured in a political bombing in Dublin in 1974, Henry is profiled in the newspaper and suddenly the secret of his rebel past is out. Henry is a national hero. Or are his troubles just beginning?
Raucous, colorful, epic, and full of intrigue and incident, The Dead Republic is also a moving love story-the magnificent final act in the life of one of Roddy Doyle's most unforgettable characters.