Oh, Play That Thing
I was very keen to see what Henry would have seen as he'd stood outside, under the awnings. But all the jazz clubs that were along State Street, they're all gone; every one of them's gone. There's one that's still standing - it was, originally, The Sunset Cafe, where Louis Armstrong played, but now it's a hardware store. The Vendome Cinema, where he used to play during the intermissions, is now a parking lot for the local college.
That I found upsetting. But on the other hand it was very liberating because in its absence I can invent. Doyle grew up listening to American music and likes to write while listening to music. For Henryin America, Doyle says, "when he hears this music, he feels he's being baptized. He's new. He feels he's gotten away from Ireland.
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He's gotten away from the misery of it all and he's listening to this glorious celebration. His prose will bop and bang its head to punk or bump and grind to the blues Convert currency. Add to Basket. Compare all 4 new copies. Book Description CCV, Condition: New.
Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle | The Independent
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If you do not want this service please make it clear to Abebooks you wish by Ship. Talk about some of these decisions and why you think Henry makes them. Do some of these decisions affect your opinion of Henry? Do you sympathize with him and find yourself rooting for him throughout the novel, despite some not-so-likable behavior? If so, why?
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If not, why not? Is he merely self-confident or delusional? Talk about the women in the novel. Does Henry take her advice? Such figures have abounded both in American literature and pop culture. Think of some examples and their impact on American society. How do you as a reader react when you encounter a real person in a work of fiction? What do you think the author is trying to achieve by doing this?
Why do you think Louis Armstrong connects with Henry? Is Henry good or bad for Armstrong? It was tight, it was great, but it was anonymous. When he was there, they stepped out of the circle and had a go; names were made, sounds were invented. View all New York Times newsletters. Even if Henry is a little too fond of blowing his own trumpet he constantly reminds us how good-looking and intelligent he is , an amphetamined energy drives this portion of the narrative, and Doyle himself seems as wonder-struck as his hero by the Armstrong phenomenon.
This entwining of black and Irish goes right back to Doyle's first novel, "The Commitments," in which a group of Dublin musicians make a brief name for themselves as a soul band. But despite the brotherly feelings, there's an obvious gulf: when Henry hears the phrase "black and tan," he thinks of the infamous British force that terrorized Ireland; in Chicago, the phrase merely denotes a racially mixed nightclub. Just as Henry is getting acclimated to America and I was getting acclimated to the book , Doyle springs one of the most egregious plot twists in recent fiction.
Working with Dipper Satchmo was a later sobriquet on a burglary one night, Henry is discovered by the housekeeper, who turns out to be someone very close to him, someone he hasn't seen since he fled Ireland. I'm not sure even Dickens, with his love of coincidence, would have risked such a stunt. From this point, "Oh, Play That Thing" goes into free fall as the past catches up with Henry and once again he becomes a hunted man.
A haunted man too, oppressed by flashbacks to his imprisonment and torture as a Republican rebel. Armstrong drops out of the story, and most of its gaiety disappears with him.
ISBN 13: 9780224074360
Deprived of its main attraction, the novel turns into a baggy picaresque through Depression-era America. The desultory nature of the storytelling is perhaps intended to ape the footloose wanderings of its hobo hero, "crawling the highways, riding the rails" as myths accumulate around him. He listens for word of the people he's abandoned, but instead finds himself entangled in another myth, this time on the set of a John Ford western. Try as Doyle might to romanticize Henry as another wild rover, by the end the book is in serious trouble.