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The Guts Paperback – 1 Aug 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224098330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224098335
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van, two collections of short stories, Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents, and most recently, The Guts. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

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Review

"The novel is probably the most contemplative that Doyle has written - as a meditation on the importance of family, it is at times almost unbearably moving." -- Edmund Gordon Sunday Times "A visceral tragicomedy - as raw and as funny as anything [Doyle's] written." -- Olivia Cole GQ "Remarkable, relevant and, surprisingly for a book that's ostensibly about cancer, joyful." -- Kevin Maher The Times "The Guts has life, and heart, and jokes." -- Theo Tait Guardian "Bright, jokey, wry and robust." -- Patricia Craig Independent

Book Description

Jimmy Rabbitte returns in a wonderful new novel by the author of The Commitments – now a major West End Musical.

Winner of the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the Barrytown trilogy doing a Douglas Adams. It's the fourth book in the trilogy, and has been a long time coming, but for me, it was definitely worth the wait.

Jimmy Rabbite is 47, and he has bowel cancer. This is a book in which Jimmy contemplates his own mortality, and gets to grips with what's important about living in an effort to cheat the dying, or at least make it more bearable.

This is not the same world that Doyle paints in The Commitments, the youthful enthusiasm is gone, replaced instead by cynicism and a sense of loss, but always in the background beats the heart of what makes these books so wonderful, the sense of community and a loving family and people that care.

I loved this book. I won't give anything else away, but if you like glorious dialogue, a wryly wonderful take on the absurdity of life and a hymn to what makes life worth living, it's all here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
(3.5 stars) Twenty-five years ago Jimmy Rabbitte and his mates in the working class Barrytown section of Dublin, decided that the best way to change their economic situation for the better was to form a rock band. In the first novel of author Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy (1988), named The Commitments for the rock group they formed, Jimmy and his hopeful friends tried for big-time success, and in the trilogy's subsequent novels (The Snapper and The Van), they continued their earnest and energetic, though unsophisticated, plans to improve their lives. Now, after twenty-five years, four children, and a bit of success, Jimmy returns in The Guts. Like the earlier novels The Commitments and The Van, Doyle's The Guts is hilarious, filled with humor that ranges from the dark to the most boisterous and profane, but it also shows an older, more thoughtful Jimmy whose life has taken a sudden turn.

When Jimmy and his father meet at the pub after work, the reader sees a different culture from that of Jimmy and his family twenty-five years earlier. His father now texts friends about "going for a pint," and he wants to know about Facebook and websites on which older women (cougars) chase young boys. Without warning, Jimmy tells his father about his recent diagnosis of cancer, a shock which his father first tries to pass off, and then tries unsuccessfully to share. Though his father is not a demonstrative person, Jimmy notices that he "was trying to get nearer to Jimmy without actually moving. Without making a show."

Here, as in most of his other novels, Doyle's characters are so clearly conceived that the dialogue and the subtle actions of the characters often take the place of real narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Williams on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover
It's interesting to note how Doyle's 'Barrytown' trilogy, much like The Simpsons, was initially all about the son, and became all about the father. Over a quarter of a century after he first appeared in The Commitments, the first volume in the trilogy (and originally self-published) it's nice to see Jimmy Rabbitte Junior take centre stage again. The last time we saw him in a novel was in the bath, singing THIS IS JIMMY RABBITTE ALL OVER OIRELAND.

He's older, married, with a sizeable litter of kids. He also has bowel cancer, and a problem with telling his wife. (How do you tell a woman who's just had 'a ride' off you, he ponders, that you have cancer?) He's also, somehow, paid off a mortgage by selling Celtic rock ('riverdance for Nazi's') to nostalgia freaks over the Internet.

Music, contemporary Dublin, satire, swearing and sentence fragments. We're back in Barrytown and, after the decidedly naff second and third books of The Last Roundup trilogy, happy to be there.

For a while.

Doyle's style (minimalist, heavy on dialogue, with virtually no description), deftly managed in the earlier books, almost sinks this one. Watch him climbing over himself to let you know who's talking, especially in the scenes with more than one character called Jimmy. A key plot point revolves around the lovely Imelda Quirke, yet we get no description of what she actually looks like: Doyle plainly assumes that has already been covered in The Commitments. A newcomer might wonder what all the fuss was about. The book, unusually for Doyle, is over-plotted; it threatens to tangle up the book rather than finish it.

The main plus of this book was reminding me how good Doyle - surely one of the best novelists of the 90s - used to be, and how well those first five books still hold up. I urge your attention to them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheshire on 27 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hoping for another laugh out loud book, like those in the Barrytown series, but while it was good, it wasn't anywhere near the level of his past books. It was still written well, and it was quite a difficult subject, but I just didn't feel that much empathy for Jimmy. He is now a middle aged man, admittedly, but he didn't have the same cheeky confidence and banter that he was depicted to have in The Commitments, and I missed that. I had also hoped more of the old characters would be in there too, but just a couple made an appearance. Despite his quirky style of writing, I can usually get into Roddy Doyle's books easily, but for some reason I struggled with this one and it took me two attempts to finish it. I also found his style of punctuation a little off putting too, and its never bothered me before - maybe it's because I didn't love this book. Worth a go though for any Roddy Doyle fans.
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