The Last Roundup (novel)

This article is about the Irish book series. For the 40th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, see The Last Roundup (Friendship is Magic episode). For 21st album of the band Poco, see The Last Roundup (album).

The Last Roundup is a series of three novels by Irish writer Roddy Doyle that began in 1999. They follow the life of Henry Smart from Ireland to America spanning most of the 20th century. The series is narrated by Henry as well, providing us the "Omniscient Narrator." Three books have now been published: A Star Called Henry (1999); Oh, Play That Thing! (2004); and The Dead Republic (2010).

Volume I: A Star Called Henry (1999)

Main article: A Star Called Henry

Henry S. Smart, born in Dublin, 1901, becomes a character of epic proportions from the moment of his birth. His one-legged father, known by the name of Henry Smart as well, vanishes without a trace, forcing Henry to abandon his mother, Melody Smart, and takes to the streets of Dublin with his younger brother Victor, where they are forced to survive by any means possible. Henry is five years old, and Victor two years younger.

By age fourteen, Henry has survived long enough to take part in the Easter Rising, becoming well known for his guerrilla combat skills, and even famous in his escape from execution.

Months after the Rising of 1916, working (under an alias) in the shipyards of Dublin, Henry learns about how his amazing escape has made him a modern legend in the pubs of Dublin, by former Easter Rising member, Jack Dalton. Henry, on hearing this news, takes part in the Rebellion once again, and soon discovers how much of his (and his father's) past will come back to haunt him.

Key Plot Points:

Volume II: Oh, Play That Thing! (2004)

Main article: Oh, Play That Thing

In the second novel, Henry is forced to flee Ireland due to the final events that take place in A Star Called Henry. He travels to Liverpool, the English town with a large Irish influence, and eventually makes his way to America. By March 16, 1924, Henry reaches Ellis Island, and sets up a new life in America.

However, Henry remains haunted by his past. Over the course of the novel, Henry is forced to flee from New York City all the way to Chicago. There, he meets a young man playing the trumpet by the name of Louis Armstrong. Because segregation is all too alive in the city, Armstrong needs a man - a white man - to become his personal guard. Henry's fighting days may not be over . . .

Key Plot Points:

Volume III: The Dead Republic (2010)

Main article: The Dead Republic

In the final volume, an ageing Henry Smart attempts to cement his reputation. John Ford plans a movie based on Henry's life, but Henry eventually realizes the film that Ford has planned will reduce his story to sentiment. Henry plans to kill Ford, but his callousness has faded, and he drifts into the Dublin suburbs, where he meets a respectable widow who may possibly be his long-disappeared wife. Henry ages in obscurity until the 1970s, when the Provisional IRA uses a distorted version of Henry's story as a public relations ploy.

Historical appearances

Many characters in The Last Roundup are, in fact, historical. Here is a brief list of them:

Also, many events that Henry walks through are historical as well. Another list:

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