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Leonard and Hungry Paul

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Review of Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession


This novel is about 2 friends, Leonard and Hungry Paul as they try to make their way in life. Leonard works writing encyclopedias without getting credit for it and his mother has just died so there is change in his life because of that while Hungry Paul's parents are approaching retirement age and his sister is getting married at Easter. He works as an occasional postman as he feels it wouldn't be fair for him to take up a full job from another person. They are friends and occassionally meet at Hungry Paul's to play board games. Life ensues, between the wedding, there are also in Hungry Paul's family, pushes to make him do more from the mild suggestions of his mother to the pushiness of his sister who for the sake of their parents want him to give them a life and break now that they are retiring.


As part of moving on, Leonard develops feeling for the fire safety office at his work and him and her start going on a date or two.


There is humour worked in to the novel, some scenes are very funny as are some lines. Particularly nice was one involving chocolates


As a musician, Hession made 3 albums under the name Mumblin' Deaf Ro which were very good and it is really nice to see him writing novels. He uses a similar sensitivity in his voice as he did with the books (the start with Leonard's mother passing away reminded me of his song Cade Calf Call, a cade calf being a calf whose mother has died).


A very good debut, I really enjoyed this book. It is a funny, coming of age novel about thirty somethings. An enjoyable read.


* * * * 1/2


i don't usually read books as soon as they come out but circumstances transpired that this ended up being started the day I got it (I didn't have a book with me to read when I got it so basically within 15 minutes of buying it, I was reading it :D I do not regret it one bit as it is a really good novel)

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