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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful collection of 3 of Roddy Doyle's best-known books
Not least because all of them have spawned film versions, these three loosely connected stories are among Doyle's best-known. Filled with Irish humour and gratuitous swearing, in the face of adversity, they are never dull and usually hilarious. If you read the stories in sequence, I think each is better than the previous, but each can stand on its own. Doyle has a...
Published on 26 Oct 2000

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3 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Commitments
The book is a novel and was first published in 1987. It is centered in Dublin's working class district, Barrytown and focuses on the formation and dissolution of an Irish band which wants to bring soul music to the people of Ireland, named the commitments.
The founder of the band is Jimmy Rabbitte who is to his friends the fountain of knowledge for music. The other...
Published on 3 Feb 2005


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful collection of 3 of Roddy Doyle's best-known books, 26 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
Not least because all of them have spawned film versions, these three loosely connected stories are among Doyle's best-known. Filled with Irish humour and gratuitous swearing, in the face of adversity, they are never dull and usually hilarious. If you read the stories in sequence, I think each is better than the previous, but each can stand on its own. Doyle has a marvellous ability to handle quickfire dialogue, with all the Dublin trimmings. If you haven't encountered Dublin slang and profanity, you'll just have to translate as best you can. The stories are all based on collective or single members of the worthy Rabbitte family, of Barrytown, a run-down suburb of North Dublin. Their lives are dogged by poverty, unemployment and plain bad luck, but they take refuge in humour and inevitably in drink, the two usually going hand in hand. In many ways, the stories are about their various attempts to escape the mediocrity which has been thrust upon them and the farcical and outrageous situations which usually result. The stories are all enormously funny, but there is an undercurrent of sensitivity and a little sadness. The Barrytown Trilogy is well worth your time and money.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doyle: "It's not a trilogy. It's just three books.", 12 July 2006
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
Though Doyle never intended to write a trilogy, his first three novels are so true-to-life and so representative of north Dublin that it is easy to see why they are now grouped as a "trilogy." All are set in the same blighted neighborhood, an area of overcrowded tenements, unemployment, and hardscrabble living, but also an area full of life, dreams for the future, rowdy friendships centered around the pub, and close families. Focusing on various members of the Rabbitte family, the novels show life as it is really lived here, with moments of high humor and often hilarious interactions alternating with moments of sad realization and broken dreams.

In The Commitments, Jimmy Rabbitte, Jr. forms a soul band from neighborhood musicians and singers, the band offering its members the opportunity to feel successful--at something! The Snapper concerns teenager Sharon Rabbitte, who, after a wild night at the pub, discovers she is expecting a little "snapper" by a man she loathes but will not identify. Sharon's pregnancy is a source of tension with her father, especially since there are already five other children in the family. The Van focuses on the father, Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr., now unemployed, who goes to work with his best friend Bimbo, who has bought a "chips" van for selling burgers, fish, and chips at sporting events, an experience that tests the friendship.

The dialogue throughout these novels is lightning-fast, filled with local dialect, crude profanities, witticisms, and can-you-top-this insults. In this neighborhood, survival is based on toughness and the ability to think quickly on one's feet, and the dialogue often resembles a stage play more than a novel. Characterization, which is thin in The Commitments gradually becomes more complex in later novels. The Snapper, with two main characters, becomes an intimate family drama, more emotionally moving than The Commitments. With The Van, Doyle develops into a real novelist, using dialogue to depict the complex tensions which evolve between two best friends who eventually find themselves at each other's throats.

The Rabbitte family is both individualized and symbolic of the neighborhood, and the three novels together show their need for dreams, along with their attitudes towards education, sex, factory work, and the church. We see their "escapes" from the workday, their physicality, and their amusements and humor. Here, in his Barrytown novels, Doyle shows the vibrancy of life in one blighted area and celebrates the small successes and the love which give meaning to their lives. Mary Whipple
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roddy Doyle writes what he observes....., 5 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
Never before has an Irish author written a set of books that capture the Working class feelings of a time when Ireland was only scraping the barrel and keeping it's head above the water. It follows the Rabbite family through it's hard times, of pregnancy and unemployment, and one of it's members short lived venture into the music business. Each book centres around a character, the first book " The Commitments " details Jimmy's hope of bringing Dublin soul to the working class. " The Snapper " potrays the hard nine months of a single mother, in the rabbite family and finally " The Van " captures Ireland before and after world cup fever took Ireland hold and at a time when Jimmy Snr can't find work. Roddy Doyle writes what he observes at the time of writing. I own all the trilogy seperately and also in one volume and I can tell you that these books are a most for any modern day fiction fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, 24 Aug 2006
This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
This is one of the most amazing pieces of literature I have read. Doyle's talent to create character led narratives knows no end; if you are looking for an insight into life in a somewhat gritty Dublin, then look no further than The Barrytown Trilogy. By reading the trilogy, you really feel like you have entered the life of a family full of colourful characters who become your closest friends; you will laugh with them, cry with them, be frustrated by them and be truly sad when the time comes to leave them. Roddy Doyle, like Jimmy Rabbitte, is a legend. I love this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Barrytown Trilogy, 26 Oct 2010
By 
P. Kerr - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
Roddy Doyle's witty & compelling view of 80s Dublin is brilliant to the core...his use of the local language takes you rite to the heart of the story & will have you doubled over with laughter...touching as well in parts, his delve in to this large family with Jimmy Snr as the head can't help you feeling sorry for them in their struggle to make ends meet. The 3 stories are all brilliant in their own way dealing with teenage dreams of stardom, pregnancy & the constant cash struggle...A MUST READ!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to read, 3 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have heard a great deal about Roddy Doyle as an author. The Barrytown Trilogy shows what a wonderful author he really is. The three stories featured in the novel include "The Commitments", a musical theme and family orientated themes "The Snapper" and "The Van".

I enjoyed reading the stories and had a real good laugh. The stories are beautifully written, with wonderful dialogues and great characterisation. We learn a great deal about the Irish culture, with the pub culture of Dublin to the quite village settings.

Roddy Doyle represents the literacy voice of Ireland. The Barrytown Trilogy is an entertaining piece of prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Novice reader of Roddy Doyle., 10 July 2009
This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
I have not read Doyle before. Initially uncomfortable with the crude language, I found The Trilogy absolutely 'unputdownable'. Now know and love the characters and thoroughly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 5 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
Funny, heartbreaking, gritty and utterly believable - you'll remember these stories forever. Well-written in colloquial Irish style - no wonder all three were made into films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Barrytown Trilogy: "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van" (Paperback)
I just simply love Roddy Doyle, and was very happy that I could buy all his work at amazon. The book arrived in good time, so I could start reading it just a couple of days after ordering it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 2 Sep 2013
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Great read had all three books read in a weekl. And I am reading them again. And there is a que to read them next.
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