What the critics thought of The Guts by Roddy Doyle and Glorious Misadventures by Owen MatthewsRoddy Doyle’s return to the Rabbitte family of Barrytown, Dublin, means, as Edmund Gordon noted in the Sunday Times, “that he has now written as many Rabbitte novels as John Updike wrote Rabbit novels.” After The Commitments (1987), The Snapper (1990) and The Van (1991), The Guts focuses on the now middle-aged Jimmy Jr being diagnosed with bowel cancer. It isn’t “obvious comic fodder”, Gordon concedes, and as a “meditation on the importance of family, it is at times almost unbearably moving. But there are also several good jokes (seeing a man he was at school with, Jimmy Jr thinks that ‘he’s let himself go since he came off the heroin’) and some hilariously unwholesome comic scenes.” In the Independent, Patricia Craig commended the depiction of an Ireland where “the Celtic Tiger has been hunted to extinction” and a story “punctuated by chemotherapy sessions and their dire effects … surrounded by the trappings of modern life: wheelie bins, tracksuit bottoms, Sat-Nav, SuperValu bags, iPads, YouTube, Wikipedia, schoolchildren drunk on vodka in the middle of the day.” Not that everyone was enthusiastic about Doyle revisiting the …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books