Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade

Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade is a 2006 novel by Irish journalist and author Paul Howard, and the sixth in the Ross O'Carroll-Kelly series.[2]

Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade
AuthorPaul Howard
IllustratorAlan Clarke
Cover artistAlan Clarke
CountryRepublic of Ireland
SeriesRoss O'Carroll-Kelly
GenreComic novel, satire
PublisherPenguin Books
Publication date
October 2006[1]
Media typePaperback
Preceded byThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 
Followed byThis Champagne Mojito Is The Last Thing I Own 


The title is a reference to coitus interruptus: Sydney Parade is the last DART stop before Sandymount, where Ross lives. Many other such phrases are known, e.g. "getting off at Redfern" (Sydney, Australia);[3] "getting off at Edge Hill" (Liverpool);[4][5] "getting off at Haymarket" (Edinburgh).[6]


An initial cover design featured a naked Ross holding his "sympathetic pregnancy" bump, a parody of Demi Moore's famous 1991 Vanity Fair cover. Penguin manager Michael McLoughlin vetoed that, and illustrator Alan Clarke produced a new version showing Ross wearing a Leinster Rugby shirt.[7]


Sorcha is pregnant; Ross begins to experience a sympathetic pregnancy. His mother, Fionnuala, becomes a successful chick-lit author, but her realistic depiction of financial crime causes suspicion to fall on his father's affairs. Ross and his friends invest in Lillie's Bordello, a Dublin nightclub.[8]


Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade was the surprise winner of the Galaxy Irish Popular Fiction Book of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards.[9][10][11][12]

It was the best-selling book in Ireland for 2006, selling 39,339 copies.[13]

It was listed among the shortlist of 50 for the Irish Book of the Decade prize for 2000–10.[14]

In her work The Undecidable: Jacques Derrida and Paul Howard, Clare Gorman analysed the relationship between Ross and his mother in the book, noting that "Ross has a pathologically intense relationship with her that he denies and represses by insulting her at every opportunity."[15][16]


  1. ^ "Rich pickings for readers on dark evenings".
  2. ^ Davenport, Fionn; O'Carroll, Oda (September 1, 2007). "Dublin encounter". Lonely Planet – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Blackman, John (February 15, 2012). "Best of Aussie Slang". Momentum – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Deiss, Richard (August 7, 2013). "The Cathedral of the Winged Wheel and the Sugarbeet Station: Trivia and Anecdotes on 222 Railway Stations in Europe". BoD – Books on Demand – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "21 euphemisms that readers grew up with". May 18, 2013 – via
  6. ^ "get off at..., v. — Green's Dictionary of Slang".
  7. ^ "D4's favourite son is going on display – and it's like, ort actually?".
  8. ^ Maher, Eamon; O'Brien, Eugene (September 4, 2014). "From Prosperity to Austerity: A Socio-Cultural Critique of the Celtic Tiger and Its Aftermath". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "An Post Irish Book Awards » Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade by Ross O'Carroll Kelly".
  10. ^ "Coming of age for Irish Book Awards".
  11. ^ "When fiction lite lays the golden egg".
  12. ^ Walsh, Caroline. "McCabe takes top prize at Irish Book Awards". The Irish Times.
  13. ^ "An epic savours a Costa win". The Irish Times.
  14. ^ Kennedy, Eoin Burke. "Irish book of decade shortlist unveiled". The Irish Times.
  15. ^ Gorman, Clare (June 1, 2015). "The Undecidable: Jacques Derrida and Paul Howard". Cambridge Scholars Publishing – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Gorman, Clare. "Northside, southside, comrades all: when Ross O'Carroll Kelly met Jacques Derrida". The Irish Times.