Book Reviews

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession

What Da Cover Says: Leonard and Hungry Paul are two friends who see the world differently. They use humour, board games and silence to steer their way through the maelstrom that is the 21st century.

‘The figure in Munch’s painting isn’t actually screaming!’ Hungry Paul said. ‘Really, are you sure?’ Replied Leonard. ‘Absolutely. That’s the whole thing. The figure is actually closing his ears to block outa scream. Isn’t that amazing? A painting can be so misunderstood and still become so famous.’

LEONARD AND HUNGRY PAUL is the story of two quiet friends trying to find their place in the world. It is about those uncelebrated people who have the ability to change the world, not by effort or force, but through their appreciation of all that is special and overlooked in life.

What I Says: In the words of Grace (Hungry Paul’s sister) “Well now, that was nice”. When I tweeted that I was about to start this book it got a huge amount of love from so many people, I was quite surprised…can it really be that good that people were jealous of me reading it for the first time? The book really is that special, I am now officially in the gang who will get jealous when somebody else gives this a go. A friend of mine saw the book and asked what it was about, I was at a loss for words to describe it, I settled on “It’s a really nice book about two lads who still live with their parents, these two lads are the wisest people you’ll ever meet” and then I said she should get her own copy and snatched my one back.

Leonard is the more outgoing of the two (only by a bit), recently his world has been turned upside down by events and he is struggling to cope with these changes. Hungry Paul is far quieter and so very wise, he offers some very sage advice and if he starts up a cult, I’ll be there signing up fer sure. There was something about Paul that felt familiar to me and it took the scene with the roses for me to realise what it was, he comes across as a un-obnoxious version of Ignatius J. Reilly from The Confederacy of Dunces, he has the same sort of sage advice to give and will stand up for what’s right and he is quietly larger than life.. The rest of the characters were lovely, how they acted around Leonard and Paul was heart-warming. The story itself was well written and easy to follow, a sort of coming of age type book, throughout the whole book I had the feeling that things were gonna come undone for the duo and that Hession was gonna sucker-punch me, I guess the pandemic years have damaged me a bit for always expecting the worse.

This book is bloody fantastic, I laughed loads, I’ve learnt things, I’ve had my outlook on life altered and dammit! I also welled up a bit, the teeniest tiniest bit, was probably just raining on my face or something…anyways give this book a miss cos I’ll only get jealous!

If you want to get yourself a copy then here is an A****n free link HERE:

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