Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession


Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession


Leonard and Hungry Paul are two quiet 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 out a 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 friends trying to find their place in the world. It is about those uncelebrated people who have the ability to change their world, not by effort or force, but through their appreciation of all that is special and overlooked in life.



My Review:

Every now and then a book comes along and just completely blows away. Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession (Bluemoose Books) is just one of those books. I have to admit falling completely head over heels for Hession’s astonishing debut novel.

You might well ask why? There is no crime being committed or even a fast paced storyline. This is a story of two friends Leonard and Hungry Paul, just two ordinary lives. Yet their lives could be anyone of us who has read Hession’s novel.

Leonard is now alone following the death of his mother and trying to cope with the grief and that is so much worse when you are alone. Hungry Paul is still living with his parents and only works on occasions, leaving him dependent on his retired parents much to the chagrin of his sister Grace who is much more independent and successful and also about to be married.

The best friends who are in their 30’s get together and regularly play board games and without question discuss their lives and that of the world and how best to deal with the everyday questions. Both in their own way are different whereas Leonard is desperate to find a relationship and that he quite fancies the girl in the office but does not have the social confidence to ask and that Hungry Paul is happy with his own life living at home and the daily order of things. These two friends are quite open with each other but never judge.

This is a beautiful story of love and of friendship that defies boundaries, two friends who are happy just being who they are despite those around them that may judge. Hession’s style is engaging and thoughtful and joyous of what friends and of love and of life. I just hope we get to see more of Rónán Hession’s wonderful writing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

245 Pages.

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession was published by Bluemoose Books Ltd and was published on 14th February 2019 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

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