From novelist and screenwriter Roddy Doyle come these two colorful plays. both set in the North Dublin suburb of Barrytown. In Brownbread, three young men kidnap a bishop but soon come to realize--when the U.S. Marines invade--that their brilliant adventure is nothing more than a colossal mistake. War is set at the Hiker's Rest, a pub where two trivia addicts meet every month to answer questions posed by Denis trhe quizmaster who hates wrong answers and shoots to kill. These earthy, exuberant works show why The New York Times Book Review says Doyle's "versatility and brio...may shock the neighbors, but...you can't take your eyes off him."
Two men meet for a pint in a Dublin pub. They chew the fat, set the world to rights, take the piss… They talk about their wives, their kids, their kids’ pets, their football teams and – this being Ireland in 2011–12 –about the euro, the crash, the presidential election, the Queen’s visit. But these men are not parochial or small-minded; one of them knows where to find the missing Colonel Gaddafi (he’s working as a cleaner at Dublin Airport); they worry about Greek debt, the IMF and the bondholders ( whatever they might be); in their fashion, they mourn the deaths of Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Davy Jones and Robin Gibb; and they ask each other the really important questions like ‘Would you ever let yourself be digitally enhanced?’
Inspired by a year’s worth of news, Two Pints distils the essence of Roddy Doyle’s comic genius. This book shares the concision of a collection of poems, and the timing of a virtuoso comedian.
Jimmy Rabbitte Sr. is unemployed, spending his days alone and miserable. When his best friend, Bimbo, also gets laid off, they keep busy by being miserable together. Things seem to look up when they buy a decrepit fish-and-chip van and go into business, selling cheap grub to the drunk and the hungry—and keeping one step ahead of the environmental health officers.
Set during the heady days of Ireland's brief, euphoric truimphs in the 1990 World cup, The Van is a tender and hilarious tale of male friendship and family life.
The BFB (Big Fat Baby) is missing! Can Rover the wonder dog and his little nephew Messi (who is actually very tidy) track her down? While Rover and co. are hot on the trail of the BFB, via Granny Mack's backpack, the post lady's basket and a plane bound for Africa, it looks like the Gigglers are about to run out of poo . . . and without an urgent delivery from Rover, how will they be able to give the Giggler Treatment to grumpy adults and help kids all over the country? Rover returns for another adventure in this illustrated series by Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle.
The triumphant conclusion to the trilogy that began with "A Star Called Henry"
Roddy Doyle's irrepressible Irish rebel Henry Smart is back-and he is not mellowing with age. Saved from death in California's Monument Valley by none other than Henry Fonda, he ends up in Hollywood collaborating with legendary director John Ford on a script based on his life. Returning to Ireland in 1951 to film "The Quiet Man"- which to Henry's consternation has been completely sentimentalized-he severs his relationship with Ford.
His career in film over, Henry settles into a quiet life in a village north of Dublin, where he finds work as a caretaker for a boys' school and takes up with a woman named Missus O'Kelly, whom he suspects- but is not quite sure-may be his long-lost wife, the legendary Miss O'Shea. After being injured in a political bombing in Dublin in 1974, Henry is profiled in the newspaper and suddenly the secret of his rebel past is out. Henry is a national hero. Or are his troubles just beginning?
Raucous, colorful, epic, and full of intrigue and incident, "The Dead Republic" is also a moving love story-the magnificent final act in the life of one of Roddy Doyle's most unforgettable characters.
LONGLISTED 2015 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
A triumphant return to the characters of Booker Prize-winning writer Roddy Doyle's breakout first novel, The Commitments, now older, wiser, up against cancer and midlife.
Jimmy Rabbitte is back. The man who invented the Commitments back in the 1980s is now 47, with a loving wife, 4 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 online for their resurrected singles and albums. On his path through Dublin, between chemo and work he meets two of the Commitments--Outspan Foster, whose own illness is probably terminal, and Imelda Quirk, still as gorgeous as ever. He is reunited with his long-lost brother, Les, and learns to play the trumpet....
This warm, funny novel is about friendship and family, about facing death and opting for life. It climaxes in one of the great passages in Roddy Doyle's fiction: 4 middle-aged men at Ireland's hottest rock festival watching Jimmy's son's band, Moanin' at Midnight, pretending to be Bulgarian and playing a song called "I'm Goin' to Hell" that apparently hasn't been heard since 1932.... Why? You'll have to read The Guts to find out.
From the Hardcover edition.
Following on Two Pints, another hilarious book on everything that matters from the brilliant Roddy Doyle.
Two men meet for a pint -- or two -- in a Dublin pub. They chew the fat, set the world to rights, curse the ref, say a last farewell. In this second collection of delicious comic dialogues Doyle's drinkers ponder:
• a topless Kate Middleton
• Barack and Michelle Obama
• David Beckham ("Would you tattoo your kids' names on the back of your neck?" "They wouldn't fit.")
• Jimmy Savile ("a gobshite")
• the financial crisis (again)
• abortion (again)
• and horsemeat in your burger...
Once again, those we have lost troop through their thoughts -- Lou Reed, Seamus Heaney, Reg Presley, Nelson Mandella, Phil Everly, Margaret Thatcher, Shirley Temple -- and they still have that unerring ability to ask the really fundamental questions like "Would you take penalty points for your missis?"
Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, Henry Smart lives through the evolution of modern Ireland, and in this extraordinary novel he brilliantly tells his story. From his own birth and childhood on the streets of Dublin to his role as soldier (and lover) in the Irish Rebellion, Henry recounts his early years of reckless heroism and adventure. At once an epic, a love story, and a portrait of Irish history, A Star Called Henry is a grand picaresque novel brimming with both poignant moments and comic ones, and told in a voice that is both quintessentially Irish and inimitably Roddy Doyle's.
This is the heart-rending story of a woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after a violent, abusive marriage and a worsening drink problem. Paula Spencer 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 powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.
Meet the Rabbitte family, 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 is 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?
12-year-old Mary's beloved grandmother is near the end of her life. Letting go is hard - until Granny's long-dead mammy appears at Mary's door, returning to help her dying daughter say goodbye. But first she needs someone to drive them all on a visit to the past.
From the internationally acclaimed, bestselling novelist -- his first ever non-fiction book: a poignant, illuminating journey through a century of modern Ireland as told through the eyes of his parents.
Ita Doyle: “In all my life I have lived in two houses, had two jobs, and one husband. I’m a very interesting person.”
Rory and Ita tells -- largely in their own words -- the story of Roddy Doyle’s parents’ lives from their first memories to the present. Born in 1923 and 1925 respectively, they met at a New Year’s Eve dance in 1947 and married in 1951. Marvellous talkers, with excellent memories, they draw upon their own family experiences (Ita’s mother died when she was three -- “the only memory I have is of her hands, doing things”; Rory was the oldest of nine children, five of them girls); and recall every detail of their Dublin childhoods -- the people (aunts, cousins, shopkeepers, friends, teachers), the politics (both came from Republican families), Ita’s idyllic times in the Wexford countryside, and Rory’s apprenticeship as a printer.
When Roddy’s parents put down a deposit of two hundred pounds for a house in rural Kilbarrack, on the edge of Dublin, Rory was working as a compositor at the Irish Independent. By the time the first of their four children was born, he had become a teacher at the School of Printing in Dublin. Then, their home began to change (“Kilbarrack wasn’t a rural place any more”) along with the rest of the country, as the intensely Catholic society of their youth was transformed into the vibrant, complex Ireland of today.
Rory and Ita’s captivating accounts of the last century, combined with Roddy Doyle’s legendary skill in illuminating ordinary experience, make a story of tremendous warmth and humanity.
This magnificent book is not only a biography of, but also a love letter to Roddy’s parents, Rory and Ita.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For the past few years Roddy Doyle has been writing stories for Metro Eireann, a newspaper started by, and aimed at, immigrants to Ireland. Each of the stories took a new slant on the immigrant experience, something of increasing relevance and importance in today's Ireland.
The stories range from 'Guess Who's Coming to the Dinner', where a father who prides himself on his open-mindedness when his daughters talk about sex, is forced to confront his feelings when one of them brings home a black fella, to a terrifying ghost story, 'The Pram', in which a Polish nanny grows impatient with her charge's older sisters and decides - in a phrase she has learnt - to 'scare them shitless'.
One part family drama, one part action-adventure; this is the children's novel we've been waiting for from Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle!
A novel of mothers lost and found. Grainne's Mom disappeared years ago when her parents were divorced, and Mom moved to the U.S. Now, bafflingly, she's reappeared and wants to meet. What could she be up to?
To get out of the way of this mysterious reunion, Grainne's half-brothers, Johnny and Tom, go with their mother, Sandra, on an "adventure holiday" in Finland. But before they're more than a few days into the snowy north, the boys are separated from Sandra, taking impossible risks to save her life. WILDERNESS is part-adventure, part-family drama with a charm that's all Roddy.
A standalone short story, available as a free download.
Jimmy Rabbitte hates jazz, always has. But his wife Aiofe loves it, and Jimmy loves Aiofe. So when, in attempt to convert him, she buys him two tickets for a Keith Jarrett concert he decides to take Outspan, former member of Jimmy's band The Commitments, who has come back into his life after a chance meeting in the cancer clinic. Jarrett is famous for being intolerant of any noise at all - a cough, a sneeze, a wheeze - from the audience, stopping playing and shaming the perpetrator. And Outspan's diagnosis is lung cancer, it's pretty bad, and he needs an oxygen cylinder to breathe properly.
Will Outspan create havoc? Will Jimmy learn to love jazz at last?
When we first met Paula Spencer - in The Woman Who Walked into Doors - she was thirty-nine, recently widowed, an alcoholic struggling to hold her family together.
Paula Spencer begins on the eve of Paula's forty-eighth birthday. She hasn't had a drink for four months and five days. Her youngest children, Jack and Leanne, are still living with her. They're grand kids, but she worries about Leanne.
Paula still works as a cleaner, but all the others doing the job now seem to come from Eastern Europe, and the checkout girls in the supermarket are Nigerian. You can get a cappuccino in the café, and her sister Carmel is thinking of buying a holiday home in Bulgaria.
The Man Booker Prize-winning author takes the pulse of modern Ireland with a masterful new collection of stories.
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--of their place in the world, of their power, their virility, health, and love.
"Recuperation" follows a man as he sets off on his daily prescribed walk around his neighborhood, the sights triggering recollections of his family and his younger days. In "Animals," George recalls caring for his children's many pets and his heartfelt effort to spare them grief when they died or disappeared. The title story, "Bullfighting," captures the mixture of bravado and helplessness of four friends who go off to Spain on holiday.
Sharply observed, funny, and moving, these thirteen stories present a new vision of contemporary Ireland, of its woes and triumphs, and middle- aged men trying to break out of the routines of their lives.
- A Star Called Henry was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice for 1999, one of the Boston Globe's Best Fiction of 1999, and a New Yorker Book Awards finalist for Best Fiction 1999
- A Star Called Henry was named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, Publishers Weekly, Esquire, Newsday, Seattle Times, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- A Star Called Henry was on The New York Times extended bestseller list, and was a Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, and New York Post bestseller.
Smile has all the features for which Roddy Doyle has become famous: the razor-sharp dialogue, the humour, the superb evocation of childhood – but this is a novel unlike any he has written before. When you finish the last page you will have been challenged to re-evaluate everything you think you remember so clearly.
Just moved into a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, Victor Forde goes every evening to Donnelly’s pub for a pint, a slow one. One evening his drink is interrupted. A man in shorts and pink shirt brings over his pint and sits down. He seems to know Victor’s name and to remember him from school. Says his name is Fitzpatrick.
Victor dislikes him on sight, dislikes too the memories that Fitzpatrick stirs up of five years being taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories too – of Rachel, his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of Victor’s own small claim to fame, as the man who says the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular Brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.
Pat had been best friends with Joe Murphy since they were kids. But years ago they had a fight. A big one, and they haven’t spoken since --- till the day before Joe’s funeral.
What? On the day before his funeral Joe would be dead, wouldn’t he?
Yes, he would…
Roddy Doyle’s first book for the Quick Reads programme to support adult literacy is fast, funny and just a tiny bit spooky.