New Edition - Now more relevant than ever

Hooked
Ré Ó Laighléis

Pb 134 pages
ISBN 978-0-9554079-3-2,

Price €12.50

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Review (extract) from ‘The Mayo News by Listener

‘Apart altogether from its literary merit and the ring of truth which it brings to a story which is becoming all too familiar in households across the land, the book is a powerful cry of warning to those most likely to be affected by its core subject.’

… All of Ó Laighléis’ novels are gritty, true-to-life stories set in the modern idiom and drawn from his own experiences, firstly as a teacher. Hooked tells the story of Dublin middle-class parents who are just discovering that their seventeen-year-old son has sunk into heroin addiction.

It is not just the addict’s story that is told in the book, and the trauma of the parents as they come to the realisation of what is going on is vividly recounted. It is not a pretty story, and as it alternates between the distraught mother and addicted son it exposes the devastation which the scourge of drug abuse can visit on the once-cosy, smug contentment of middle-class family life.

One suspects that there is more than good reason for the decision to place Hooked on the Leaving Cert reading list. Apart altogether from its literary merit and the ring of truth which it brings to a story which is becoming all too familiar in households across the land, the book is a powerful cry of warning to those most likely to be affected by its core subject.

Ré Ó Laighléis speaks the language of the young people for whom Hooked will strike a familiar chord. If it makes young people stop and think – as it undoubtedly will – it will have achieved more than all of the anti-drug promotional campaigns we could ever begin to create.

Plans are already in hand to translate the book into the main European languages, itself an endorsement of Hooked and the impact it will have on a whole generation of Irish school leavers.


Review from Educationmatters, ‘Ireland on Sunday’

‘Ó Laighléis deftly favours creating a dark side of urban life over sledgehammering the reader with ‘Just Say No’ messages.’

There can be no silver lining around a story about heroin addiction, no romanticism nor fresh-faced optimism. Hooked, the [new] novel from
Ré Ó Laighléis, makes no bones about the fact that the needle is a noose.

Heroin’s effects stretch far beyond the physical damage inflicted upon the user and so – in line with the reality of the issue – Hooked is as much about the parents’ trauma on finding their son is a junkie as it is about the addict himself.

Ó Laighléis deftly favours creating a dark side of urban life over sledgehammering the reader with ‘Just Say No’ messages; the horrors of heroin are revealed within the story itself and thankfully the author avoids any preachy commentary.

Born in 1953, Ré Ó Laighléis is a native of Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin. He taught in Galway for twelve years before leaving to write full-time. Now a multi-award winning writer, he is published in English, Italian, German et al. and is the biggest selling contemporary writer in the Irish language. The schooling system, he contends, is one of bureaucracy at the expense of education. Authorities need to introduce challenges and withdraw sterile textbooks, to develop young learners.

Hooked deftly plots a path between teenage and adult writing, creating a book with wide appeal. In its Irish form, Gafa, selected chapters [were] prescribed reading on the Leaving Cert Irish curriculum.

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