Oh, Play That Thing

  • Author Roddy Doyle
  • Narrator Christian Conn
  • Publisher Random House
  • Run Time 14 hours and 32 minutes
  • Format Audio
  • Genre Historical fiction.

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

It’s 1924, and New York is the centre of the universe.

Henry Smart, on the run from Dublin, falls on his feet. He is a handsome man with a sandwich board, behind which he stashes hooch for the speakeasies of the Lower East Side. He catches the attention of the mobsters who run the district and soon there are eyes on his back and men in the shadows. It is time to leave, for another America…

Chicago is wild and new, and newest of all is the music.

Furious, wild, happy music played by a man with a trumpet and bleeding lips called Louis Armstrong. His music is everywhere, coming from every open door, every phonograph. But Armstrong is a prisoner of his colour; there are places a black man cannot go, things he cannot do. Armstrong needs a man, a white man, and the man he chooses is Henry Smart.

© Roddy Doyle 2004 (P) Penguin Audio 2010

Critics Review

  • Sequels often disappoint, but here is one that’s every bit as sharp, as surprising and as satisfying as the original.

  • Doyle’s performance is, again, extraordinary for the richness of allusion, the facility with which history is dovetailed with invention, the energy of the prose.

    Daily Telegraph
  • Brilliantly imagined… Utterly magnificent, the finest work he has done.

    Sunday Tribune
  • Kicks off at a furious lick and just gets faster, hotter, louder. Hugely, unremittingly entertaining.


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