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Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle
Oh, Play That Thing is the second book in a trilogy from Roddy Doyle. When the first book, A Star Called Henry ended, Henry Smart, an Irish Republican Army assassin, is forced to flee Ireland with a price on his head and without his wife and new daughter. It's 1924 and Henry lands in New York City. He starts to carve out a new business for himself when he runs afoul of the mob and is on the run again. Eventually he comes to Chicago where he meets Louis Armstrong. The mob controls all the nightclubs in Chicago, and Henry becomes the "white man" for Armstrong so he can play his music freely. Henry's family, and his past, catch up with him, and he's on the road again. Roddy Doyle's novel is a tale of immigrants, blacks, and outsiders struggling to find a place in America and remaking it in the process. Oh, Play That Thing has received mixed reviews with BookPage saying, "Oh, Play That Thing charges along in a suspenseful manner, but not without a fair bit of craft on Doyle's part - not willing to sacrifice poetry for action, the accomplished author instead merges the two."