The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

Roddy Doyle

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The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors Paula Spencer is a thirty nine year old working class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem Paula recalls her contented childhoo

  • Title: The Woman Who Walked Into Doors
  • Author: Roddy Doyle
  • ISBN: 9780140255126
  • Page: 163
  • Format: Paperback
  • Paula Spencer is a thirty nine year old working class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless Capturing both her vulnerabilPaula Spencer is a thirty nine year old working class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Roddy Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.

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      Published :2019-02-02T23:11:11+00:00

    One thought on “The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

    1. Dannii Elle on said:

      This author has been on my radar since a creative course in university, when my lecturer provided us with her self-curated list of 100 books/authors to read in our lifetime. Roddy Doyle's name headed the piece. I acquired a collection of his best known works and then did nothing else with them for a few years.I admit I was fearful that his writing might not have aged well, when I read the synopsis and reviews that spoke of this cultural focus. I was wrong. So very wrong. Doyle provides a startli [...]

    2. Amy on said:

      I love this author. He is raw with emotion. i love this passage: "Everything made you on thing or the other. It tired you out sometimes. I remember spending ages exhausted and upset. It was nice knowing that boys wanted you then you couldn't want them back. If you smiled at more than one you were a slut; if you didn't smile at all you were a tight bitch. If you smiled at the wrong boy you were back to being a slut and you might get a hiding from his girlfriend, and she'd be a slut for pulling yo [...]

    3. Tony on said:

      I have given The Speech at least a hundred times. At least. The setting, the words, and sadly the result are essentially the same.There is bustle all about. But I find the quietest room available. It’s me. And Her. And a cop or a counselor. It’s not always the same HER, of course. But some are repeaters. Those ones have heard The Speech before, but they act as if they haven’t.She’s been beaten. A little or a lot. Enough to call the cops. And now here we are, three to seven days later. Sh [...]

    4. will on said:

      The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle.Roddy Doyle is a wonderful writer. Normally his books are fast reads, he writes is an easy going flowing way. His books contain a certain amount of humour but that is because he writes "slice of life" stories. His characters are real, the stories are real and real life (or so I've been told) contains a certain amount of humour.The Woman Who walked Into Doors possesses many of these ingredients but there is a shadow over the book. It is a love story [...]

    5. Joanie on said:

      I decided to re-read this before reading the sequel Paula Spencer. I had forgotten just how good this book is, just how well Doyle does a female protagonist. The book is painful and sad and unflinching in it's descriptions of marital abuse and alcoholism but as always, Doyle adds in warmth and humor to make it all hurt less. After my re-read I'm not sure that I want to read the sequel. I don't want to ruin the image in my head with a new story that might not be as good. Plus on the jacket it say [...]

    6. Danna on said:

      I picked this one up from a display at the library. I had skimmed a few pages and the writing style caught my eye (he uses punctuation and italics to visually illustrate dialog and flashbacks). I think the author did a great job telling the sadly-classic story of the abused woman, how that situation came to be and the culture in which the situation flourished, how she finally found the strength to kick her husband out of the house and keep on living. I liked the way he was able to explore how su [...]

    7. Tracy on said:

      i need to be honest. i will forget this book in 6 months. i enjoyed it, it was touching and raw. but it will vanish like most of the quick british/irish reads i've been enjoying lately, i.e. william trevor, patrick mccabe, patrick mcgrath. if these were romance novels, or anne rivers sheldon beach reads, then that would be expected. but since they are 'contemporary classics,' shouldn't they stick to the ribs longer? just because the subject is 'serious,' it doesn't mean that they aren't fluff of [...]

    8. Donna McCaul Thibodeau on said:

      I'm not sure that I really liked this book but it definitely deserved a four star review. Roddy Doyle manages to write a book about an abused woman from her point of view and he nails it. Amazing, really. Searingly honest, it tells the story of Paula Spencer and her day to day life married to the abusive Charlo. I read this years ago and thought I'd never go back to it as it's just so sad but he wrote a sequel and I wanted to read it so I read this one again. One of Mr. Doyle's better efforts.

    9. Abigail Hillinger on said:

      It was interesting to read about domestic violence from a woman's point of viewwritten by a man. The first part of the book felt significantly different from the second part--the tone, the voice, the narrative itself. One part raised the questions and shuffled the puzzle pieces around so they wouldn't quite connect for the reader, and the second brought the reader directly into this woman's psyche as her husband is literally beating her soul out of her. Certain segments were brutal and almost to [...]

    10. Darryl on said:

      I'm off to Ireland in a month on a working vacation. Wanted to read some contemporay literature from the region and found this book of Doyle's. I liked it. I do work in theodicy (the problem of evil) and trauma theory, and so am always seeking after such at the level of somatic description. In this case, I found it in the consummate craft of Doyle's characterization of Paula. Doyle has a remarkable gift of habitation. Paula is a model of sustained, air-tight, character emanicipation and density. [...]

    11. Guy on said:

      The protagonist of Roddy Doyle’s 1996 novel, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors is 39-year-old Dublin mother of four, Paula Spencer. When the novel opens, a Guard arrives at Paula’s door. This is not an unusual event as the police frequently come knocking at the door looking for Charlo, a man with a criminal past, but this time is different…From that moment, Paula recalls her story of life with Charlo, how they met, their torrid courtship, her father’s strong disapproval, and the highlight [...]

    12. Drgibson63 on said:

      The Woman Who walked Into DoorsIrish novelist Roddy Doyle writes very well about family life. His previous novels, which include The Van, The Snapper and The Commitments, are insightful, funny peeks into the personal lives of families who argue a lot, but also love each other. A recent work, The Woman Who Walked Into Walls, is his best yet, but it may not be for all tastes. This book, told in first-person narrative, is a profoundly depressing story about wife beating, and the ripping apart of on [...]

    13. Lyn Elliott on said:

      I came to this book reluctantly. Another book club choice I hadn't made; didn't want to read about domestic violence in general or an abused woman in particular.But Roddy Doyle hooked me from the unexpected start, 'I was told by a Guard who came to the door. He wasn't one I'd seen before, one of the usual ones.I knew before he spoke. It clicked inside me when I opened the door. (For years opening that door scared the life out of me. I hated it; it terrified me)'.And straight away we are into the [...]

    14. Cenhner Scott on said:

      "La mujer que se estrellaba contra las puertas" del título es Paula Spencer, una mujer que decía que se había chocado contra una puerta o que se había caído de las escaleras cuando en realidad lo que había pasado era que su marido la había recontra cagado a trompadas. Es un libro violento sobre la violencia. Ambientada en Irlanda entre los '70 hasta los '90, la novela cuenta la historia de una chica que conoce a un chico, se enamoran, se casan y todo empieza a salir terriblemente mal. La [...]

    15. Emilia P on said:

      This was a damn good book.Maybe "good" isn't the right word for it, but, well, Roddy D. was spot-on at getting a regular woman's voice to come through, filled with the uncompartmentalized joy, memory, despair, need, and hope that come with a hard life. The first-person narrative flashes between the past -- a not altogether unpleasant youth, and a pretty dismal but relieved present wherein Paula Spencer has kicked her husband out of the house, only to find, a year later, that he's killed a woman [...]

    16. Kiessa on said:

      First, I'll admit that I am currently on page 79 of 226. If I had to rate my desire to keep reading from one to ten, ten being the most compelled to go on, I'd have to say that I'm about at -57.Next, let me get this out of the way. I'm no prude, and I occasionally enjoy cursing like a sailor. But even I was shocked by Mr. Doyle's overuse of the words f* and c&*#. So much so, in fact, that I can't bring myself to retype the words because I'm so over-exposed to them. The volume of cursing was [...]

    17. Jo Davies on said:

      The fact that Roddy Doyle could write a book about a woman stuck in an abusive relationship and make it so utterly believable is a testament to his imagination and extreme skill as a story-teller. The story opens with Paula Spencer, a middle-aged Irish wife and mother, being told that her abusive husband Charlo has been killed by the police in an aborted attempt at kidnapping a local bank manager. This revelation fuels a boatload worth of memories of her marriage to the man at whose hands she su [...]

    18. Ashley on said:

      One of my major goals in the past few years has been to read more books by women, about women. I grew up reading books by men that purported to be for general audiences, but that all too often completely whiffed on the portrayal of women's interior lives (with "great" novels and "classic" authors either completely avoiding the issue, or relying heavily on tropes and stereotypes). Female characters written by women, on the other hand, typically ring truer, even when the character's life experienc [...]

    19. Victoria Wallin on said:

      Even though I read this novel many years ago, this irish tale of Paula Spencer and her trying to survive domestic abuse has never left my mind. Roddy Doyle's description of this small irish village and its working class people struggling to stay together and society's judgements is cleverly put together with a gritty, raw language that is beautiful in its ugly truths. It is kitchen sink realism in one of its better forms. The shock of being hit the first time, the hope that it will never happen [...]

    20. Suzanne on said:

      A tough read, at times gruesome and depressing. Not the typical Roddy Doyle novel. As a woman you can follow the threadis could happen to any of us if we just make enough excuses and remained silent. We may fool ourselves that it would not be usbut domestic abuse occurs all the time at all levels of society. Paula's "walking into doors" rings sadly true for so many, even the best and the brightest. Doyle bring his signature wit to Paula's reclaiming of her life. One finds oneself, as a reader, a [...]

    21. Guy on said:

      Roddy Doyle - The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. “Broken nose. Loose teeth. Cracked ribs. Broken finger. Black eyes. I don’t know how many; I once had two at the same time, one fading, the other new. Shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists. Stitches in my mouth. Stitches on my chin. A ruptured eardrum. Burns. Cigarettes on my arms and legs. Thumped me, kicked me, pushed me, burned me. He butted me with his head. He held me still and butted me; I couldn’t believe it. He dragged me around the house b [...]

    22. Christian Schwoerke on said:

      This novel was a quick two-gulp read, as I “listened” to Paula Spencer nee O’Leary tell how she became a beaten wife and how she managed, somehow, to escape. Roddy Doyle has done a splendid job of creating speech that can be heard in one’s mind, and he makes Paula’s false starts, repetitions, digressions, profanities, and recollected conversations work together to produce what seems an honest, long series of confessions and confidences to herself, a friend, and a social worker/psychiat [...]

    23. Gattalucy on said:

      “Il re è nudo” tutti lo vedono ma tutti zitti“Essere o non essere?” si chiedeva Amleto. E Shakespeare permeava con questo universale interrogativo un capolavoro. Chissà quali condizionamenti ancestrali che vengono da secoli di sopraffazione hanno intrappolato le donne a dubbi ben più profondi di quelli amletici: dignità o vergogna, rispetto o disprezzo, coraggio o paura, denuncia o occultamento, difesa dei figli o loro esposizione ai rischi, chiedere aiuto o sopportare in silenzio. " [...]

    24. Hilary G on said:

      Ex Bookworm group review:I know absolutely nothing about women in abusive relationships and I don't think Roddy Doyle does either. Not only do I find his attempt to portray a battered wife unconvincing, I also find his motives questionable. What on earth would make a man want to do that? I didn't sense any sort of crusade. Though he made Paula Spencer human, likeable and intelligent (with apologies to our teachers, what a condemnation of the education system she is), there was a total lack of em [...]

    25. Ananya Ghosh on said:

      About 3.5 stars, but I didn't wanna give less, so I gave 4 instead.This was a surprisingly great book and an enriching literature, and I'm glad to have read this gem. This was again one of those stories that don't have a definite end and seem inconsequential and I love it. Paula Spencer is a middle aged woman, who is alcoholic, estranged from her abusive husband and barely making ends meet. She embarks on the narrative of her life and gives us little details of her life, like a holiday in a cara [...]

    26. Ian Wood on said:

      The Barrytown trilogy and ‘Paddy Clark, Ha, Ha, Ha’ were the greatest feel good comedies to come out of Ireland and ‘The Van’ and ‘Paddy Clark, Ha, Ha, Ha’ were respectively and justifiably nominated for and awarded the Booker Prize. So the question was where next? Roddy didn’t leave Barrytown for his next project but showed us it’s seedier underbelly in the dark and harrowing TV show ‘Family’. This introduced us to the Spencer family with its domestic violence and abuse. Eac [...]

    27. Gwen Bartlett on said:

      Not an easy book to read. The story of a woman who is abused, becomes an alcoholic. She finally attacks her husband and makes him leave. He eventually kills a woman and is shot by the police. Very depressing.

    28. Faith on said:

      The woman who walked into doors - Paula Spencer, who was married for 18 years to Charlo Spencer, who she threw out and who killed a woman and who was shot by the Guards Paula loves Charlo and doesn't. In the book Paula looks back at her past. We find out the truth about the relationship between her and Charlo little by little. Roddy Doyle is an expert on creating sympathetic characters. Paula too is sympathetic, even thou she is an alcoholic and a woman with a lot of problems, a woman who has fa [...]

    29. Anita Dalton on said:

      Doyle understands that life might have a moment wherein a paralyzed person is suddenly capable of action, but that a moment of clarity does not a changed life make. Doyle shows the arc of Paula’s life as she gradually loses more and more innocence, slowly becomes more and more broken. This novel, better than any novel I have read in recent memory, tells the story of how men defined the world of women, from their actions to their words, and how hard it is to overcome such intrusive beginnings.T [...]

    30. Michael on said:

      Very vibrant rendering of the interior landscape of a working class woman in Dublin in the 90�s. From the perspective of age 39, Paula tells her current story, working on a poverty income as a cleaning woman, raising three children, and recovering from the death of her estranged husband, while constantly reflecting on memories that chart her progression from childhood. With much empathy and humor, Doyle does an outstanding job of portraying how she taps the well of energies, budding sexuality, [...]

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