Roddy Doyle, "Black Hoodie"

Three kids shoplift as part of a school project.

(from The Deportees)

Every age has these levels of getting it and not getting it, where you understand how one aspect of the world works — love, money, social structure — and not others things — sex, the stock market, history. I always enjoy the type of narrator, like the one in “Black Hoodie,” whose worldview is at once sensible and ill-informed. He still has his youthful idealism, though Doyle tricks you into thinking that was long gone with the opening passage. The author’s own knack for optimism triumphs over the story’s otherwise serious circumstances and one may be inclined to call this a cop out. C’mon people, every once in a while the good guys win. If you can call them good guys.

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