The Commitments’ cocky Jimmy Rabbitte returns, carrying the burdens of later lifeIn popular Irish mythology it’s often said that the seeds of the Celtic Tiger were sown shortly after Italia ’90, when the country’s football team reached the quarter-finals of the world cup for the first time.Halfway through The Guts, Jimmy Rabbitte’s father reminds him just how important this sporting event was for the Irish national psyche of the time: “We felt great about ourselves. For years after. An’ tha’ only changed a few years back. Now we’re useless cunts again.”Jimmy sardonically responds by thanking his father for the political and historical analysis. To which Jimmy Sr replies: “Fuck off. You asked.”This humorous exchange between father and son is a typical example of Roddy Doyle’s idiosyncratic style of prose, which capitalises on witty, minimalist and repetitive dialogue, to tell stories of working-class people from the north side of Dublin.Using the vernacular and an economy of language has given the Booker-winning author enormous freedom to subtly explore themes of gender, identity and class-consciousness in much of his work hitherto.When Doyle self-published his debut novel The Commitments in 1987, releasing it through a UK publisher a year later, it challenged previous ideas …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books