Like many people, I encountered Roddy Doyle through the Barrytown trilogy – The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van—three terrific novels, and later movies, set in the same fictional working class neighborhood of Dublin, novels that do things with dialogue I hadn’t thought possible. His newest, The Guts, revisits Jimmy Rabbitte – founder of The Commitments, inventor of Irish soul music – 27 years later. His life is… complicated. Fortunately. Bliss is boring. Other people’s, anyway. It’s a joy to catch up with him.
- PERSON: his friend Joe Brady, an Irish street sweeper (not this one)
- PLACE: his classroom, Greendale Community School, Dublin
- THING: his record deck (not this one)
- RANDY’S PLACE: a website that does condolence form-letters