ANNIE by Paul Smith


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A novel about growing up and apart in the Dublin slums, full of blarney and brogue, that nonetheless succeeds in keeping that inevitable Irish sentimentality to a minimum. Tucker and Annie steal cinders from the ""Bens,"" put out publicity for the local whorehouse, shoplift (then give everything away Robin Hood style), even open their own ""store"" as they wait for Ellie Simms to give them her new peddlar's cart so they won't have to go work in Barker's biscuit factory, a place that symbolizes the end of childhood and freedom. Also the inevitable sex when Tucker (who has been seduced by the black tough Johnny Roscoe) and the twelve-year-old Annie witness a homosexual love scene and later have an unsuccessful go at one of their own. The somewhat lyrical first-person narration nonetheless manages to catch that painful ecstasy of adolescence and Tucker's knowledge, as he walks away from Barker's and the suddenly mature Annie at the end of summer, that some part of his life is over.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1971
Publisher: Dial