Patrick Clarke is a 10-year-old boy trying to make sense of his world. He is confused. His Ma and Da fight too much. School seems like a joke. And love, though it has a good reputation, seems pretty cruel. Paddy sees everything, but has trouble understanding it all. His story is an exuberant romp through the triumphs, indignities, and troublemaking detours of an Irish childhood.
Paula Spencer is a 39-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.
In the 1980s Jimmy Rabbitte formed the Commitments, a ragtag, blue-collar collective of Irish youths determined to bring the soul music stylings of James Brown and Percy Sledge to Dublin. Time proves a great equalizer for Jimmy as he’s now approaching 50 with a loving wife, four kids, and a recent cancer diagnosis that leaves him feeling shattered and frightened. Jimmy still loves his music, and he still loves to hustle - his new thing is finding old bands and then finding the people who loved them enough to pay for their resurrected albums.
"Best audiobook since Wolf Hall"
Narrated by Stephen Hogan and introduced by Roy Keane. In an 18-year playing career for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, and Manchester United (under Sir Alex Ferguson) and Celtic, Roy Keane dominated every midfield he led to glory. Aggressive and highly competitive, his attitude helped him to excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005.
Paddy Clarke is ten years old. Paddy Clarke lights fires. Paddy Clarke's name is written in wet cement all over Barrytown, north Dublin. Paddy Clarke's heroes are Father Damien (and the lepers), Geronimo and George Best. Paddy Clarke has a brother called Francis, but Paddy calls him Sinbad and hates him because that's the rule. Paddy Clarke knows the exact moment to knock a dead scab from his knee.
"A Fly On the Wall!"
Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of the soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabitte, brilliantly coached by Joel "The Lips" Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from paris hall to immortality on vinyl. But can The Commitments live up to their name?
"If you liked the movie, you'll like the book!"
Paddy Clarke, a 10-year-old Dubliner, describes his world, a place full of warmth, cruelty, love, sardines, and slaps across the face. He's confused; he sees everything but he understands less and less.
"just love it"
Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle shines with this epic conclusion to the saga of his indomitable Irish rebel Henry Smart. Chronicling nearly 25 years of history, The Dead Republic finds Smart working closely with, then violently severing ties to, legendary Hollywood director John Ford and eventually returning to Ireland in the 1950s. Desiring a quiet retired life in a small village north of Dublin, his life is further thrown into tumult by IRA uprisings and a surprising reunion with a woman who may just be his long-lost wife.
"Good story made better by a great performance"
Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of the soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabitte, brilliantly coached by Joel 'The Lips' Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from Paris Hall to immortality on vinyl. But can The Commitments live up to their name?
The eight tales in Roddy Doyle's first-ever collection of stories have one thing in common: someone born in Ireland meets someone who has come to live there. "New Boy" describes the first day of school for a nine-year-old boy from Africa; while in "The Pram", a terrifying ghost story, a Polish nanny grows impatient with her charge's older sisters and decides - in a new phrase she has learned - to "scare them shitless".
Jimmy Rabbitte is back. The man who invented the Commitments back in the eighties is now forty-seven, with a loving wife, four kids...and bowel cancer. He isn't dying, he thinks, but he might be. Jimmy still loves his music, and he still loves to hustle - his new thing is finding old bands and then finding the people who loved them enough to pay money for their resurrected singles and albums. On his path through Dublin he meets two of the Commitments - Outspan, whose own illness is probably terminal, and Imelda Quirk, still as gorgeous as ever.
"LOVED IT! The best take on cancer story"
Born in the slums of Dublin in 1901, his father a one-legged whore-house bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing, begging, often cold, always hungry, but a prince of the streets. At 14, already six-foot-two, Henry's in the General Post Office on Easter Monday 1916, a soldier in the Irish Citizen Army, fighting for freedom.
Roddy Doyle has earned a devoted following for his wry wit, his uncanny ear, and his ability to fully capture the hearts of his characters. Bullfighting, his second collection of stories, offers a series of bittersweet takes on men and middle age, revealing a panorama of Ireland today. Moving from classrooms to local pubs to bullrings, these tales feature an array of men taking stock and reliving past glories, each concerned with loss in different ways.
Fifteen of Ireland's finest writers collaborated on this murder mystery that involves searching for the only manuscript of an unpublished novel by James Joyce. Raucous, raunchy, and completely hilarious, Yeats Is Dead! is a diabolically entertaining mulligan stew of a novel. James Joyce would be proud.
"Worth a listen but overlong"
Meet the Rabbitte family, a motley bunch of loveable ne'er-do-wells whose everyday purgatory is rich with hangovers, dogshit, and dirty dishes. When the older sister announces her pregnancy, the family are forced to rally together and discover the strangeness of intimacy. But the question remains: which friend of the family is the father of Sharon's child?
"Il signor Mack stava andando alla stazione. Era una bella giornata di sole. Gli uccellini sui rami cantavano la loro canzone preferita, e spirava un'arietta piena dei profumi della prima colazione: pancetta, uova, zampe di rana e cavolo verzo". Il signor Mack fa un lavoro davvero interessante: l'assaggiatore di biscotti. Ma una mattina, sulla strada per la fabbrica di biscotti, lo aspetta un destino davvero ingrato (e puzzolente): è sul punto di sperimentare... il trattamento Ridarelli.
"Never, Ever Land" by Dorothy Wickenden; "The Taming of The Chef" by Bill Buford; "Teaching" by Roddy Doyle; "The Valiant Swabian" by John Updike; and "Men Gone Wild" by David Denby.
The final book in Roddy Doyle's highly acclaimed Barrytown Trilogy focuses on Jimmy Rabbitte Sr, who is facing the vicissitudes of unemployment when his friend Bimbo invites him to become his partner in a new venture: a fish and chip van.
When Uncle Ben’s Dublin business fails, Gloria and Raymond realise something is wrong. So when the children overhear their granny saying the Black Dog has settled on Ben’s back, and he won’t be OK until it’s gone, they decide they’re going to get rid of it, and they set out on a midnight quest to hunt it down and chase it away. But loads of other children are searching for it too, because the Black Dog is hounding lots of Dublin’s adults.
This issue contains nine articles: "So Long Joe", by Roger Angell; "The Fires", by Dana Goodyear; "Condi's Party Starter", by Jesse Lichtenstein; "Future Reading", by Anthony Grafton; "The Dog", by Roddy Doyle; "Running on Fumes", by Elizabeth Kolbert; "All Souls", by Peter Schjeldahl; "The Endless Scroll", by Alex Ross; and "Drug Warriors", by David Denby.