The Dead Republic
A magnificent, epic novel that explores the history of modern Ireland - the sequel to the bestselling A Star Called Henry and Oh, Play That Thing.
We last saw Henry Smart, his leg severed in an accident with a railway boxcar, crawl into the Utah desert to die - only to be discovered by John Ford, who's there shooting his latest Western.
The Dead Republic opens in 1951. Henry is returning to Ireland for the first time since his escape in 1922. With him are the stars of Ford's latest film, John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the famous director himself, who has tried to suck the soul out of Henry and turn it into Hollywood gold-dust.
Ten years later Henry is in Dublin, working in Ratheen as a school caretaker. When he is caught in a bomb blast, he loses his leg for the second time. He is claimed as a hero, and before long Henry will discover he has other uses too, when the peace process begins in deadly secrecy...
Praise for The Dead Republic
Trust Roddy Doyle on this one. Go with the story. It's magnificentFinancial Times
Doyle's essentially triumphant new novel is the concluding part of The Last Roundup, the largest in scope and scale, and in literary terms the most significant, of his seriesTimes Literary Supplement
Doyle's tenth novel might be called The Dead Republic, but its vision of what Smart calls "the green thing" is as alive as any he has given usIndependent on Sunday
Doyle remains a master stylist, writing sentences that hit you like a slap in the faceIrish Times
Doyle retains his canny and surprising eye, his gift for the corporealObserver
Over the course of three books, Henry Smart has proved to be Doyle's most memorable fictional creationSunday Times
Its overview of the twists and turns of Irish history is brilliantMail on Sunday
Told with pace and verve and bitter, black humour. There is lovely, brutal detail, as well as a grand swoop over the timeline of Ireland and America, just like the kind of film they just don't make anymore . . . Yes, you do have to suspend disbelief, quite often, but Henry is so compelling, his story so powerful, that it's worth itFinancial Times
The many faces of Henry Smart, hero and killer, thug and family-loving man, liar, chancer and man of honour, embody the history and the identity alike.Paul Dunn, The Times
Bizzare, brave, elegiac and funny, Doyle's reimagining of Ireland Inc stands as both indictment and celebrationArminta Wallace, Irish Times
This is Ireland's most famous living writer tackling one of the most crucial periods in historyGuardian