By Roddy Doyle
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670016433, 327pp.)
Publication Date: January 23, 2014
List Price: $27.95*
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The distinct wit and lively, authentic dialogue that are the hallmarks of Roddy Doyle's fiction are on a full display as he reintroduces Jimmy Rabbitte in this follow-up to his beloved debut novel "The Commitments."
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 fifty 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. As he battles his illness on his path through Dublin, Jimmy manages to reconnect with his own past, most notably Commitments guitarist Liam Outspan Foster and the still beautiful backup vocalist Imelda Quirk. Jimmy also learns the trumpet, reunites with his long-lost brother, and rediscovers the joys of fatherhood.
An immensely funny and poignant novel, "The Guts "captures friendship, family, the power of music, the specter of death, and the zeal for life.
Alan Cheuse reviews Roddy Doyle's latest novel, The Guts. The book revisits some of the characters from Doyle's debut hit, The Commitments. More at NPR.org
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