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Commitments (Vintage Contemporaries) Library Binding – 9 Apr 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Library Binding: 165 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439558124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439558126
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,920,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A contender for the funniest debut of the year...young, feisty, funky, rude, unpretentious and great fun" (Time Out)

"Brilliant...it pushes Irish English to wonderful imaginative extremes" (.)

"An Irish version of The Blues Brothers...authentic and brilliantly funny" (Literary Review)

"An absurd comedy of the commonplace...a charming, truthful and immensely funny story which leaves you gasping for more" (Sunday Times)

"One of my favourite trilogies ever, nobody makes hard times as funny as Irish author Roddy Doyle… Beloved classics… The stories will be a balm to your bruised soul." (Image) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The bestselling book behind the long-running West End stage show.

'The musical we've been waiting for... So good I almost wept' Sunday Times

'Hugely enjoyable... Wonderfully funny' Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was susprised at the lavish praise on the back cover - eg. "immensely funny story which leaves you gasping for more", "brilliantly funny", etc. One quote says it an Irish version of the Blues Brothers and that says it all - ie, it's all been done before, just this time there's an Irish twist. The band personalities stuff was all a bit of a cliche - maybe I'm jaded because I've been in lots of bands - and not very authentic.

Still, it's mildly amusing and very short - take out the song lyrics and it's only around 120 pages. The film's much better, not just because I saw that before reading the book, but really because, after all, this is a book about music, so no written description is an adequate substitute for the real thing.
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I picked up The Commitments again after listening to Roddy on Radio 2 recently talking about the new book he's written about Jimmy. I have always loved the film and was ashamed to think I had never read the book.

I was absorbed immediately in the vibrant characters and simplicity of the story line. In one respect the book is simple and yet at the same time complex. It truly reflects the Ireland of the era, the economy, the politics, the unemployment, the naivety in many ways that still existed. Respect for parents for example. Fear of the tyrant father or matriarchal mother figure, yet the desire to dream and become something more.

If you love music of any kind this book is for you. I love the way the lyrics to songs are linked throughout the story, often in their entirety. Loved it. If like me you are guilty of never ready The Commitments then don't delay.
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I was probably the only person left in the world who had niether seen `the Commitments' or read a Roddy Doyle Book. Well shame on me, cause this is a great little debut. Small and perfectly formed it's a cracking read and must have made for a fun film. I'm always interested in authors first novels and this should be a blue print for any aspiring writers. Doyle keeps it simple and writes what he knows. He knows Dublin and clearly, he got Soul as well.

The story follows Jimmy Rabbitte as he attempts to put together a soul band from a loose collection of friends in the Barrytown area of Dublin. They don't set out to conquer the world or get stinking rich, they're just looking for a `good crack'. Along the way Rabitte recruits Joey `the Lips' Fagan an old hand who's played with all the Greats but has come back to Dublin to blow some Soul into the Brothers, `there wouldn't be so much trouble if the Brothers has some soul in them' he says. Boys are always brothers and girls are always sisters to Joey `the lips' Fagan. He is on a mission from God but similarities to the Blues Brothers end there. Jimmy then recuits the Commitmentettes who add a bit of Glamour and Deco Cuffe, an arrogant sod with a killer voice to do the singing. Any guesses where the dramatic tensions gonna come from?

All members assembled Rabitte focuses on the process of molding them into a passable Motown Outfit - complete with a memorable stage naming sequence - and Doyle focuses solely on the band.
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The book that inspired the film is a great read, filled with hope and optimism that made the film such a hit, If like me you've seen the film you'll hear the voices jump out the book at you as you laugh through each chapter, It really is an enjoyable read from start to finish.
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Fascinating 'episode' in the life of a fictional soul band in Ireland, their beginnings and rise to their climax together. Doyle brings out angst and soul, of the unemployed and under used, the talented but looked over, the struggles of getting on day by day suddenly given hope and a dream and what they do with it.

Oddly written in a way, almost like a script, but good fun for what it is.
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Format: Paperback
This book engages its readers into the trials and tribulations of Jimmy Rabbitte who wants to start up a soul band. Along the way we meet the likes of Joey 'the lips', who is a middle aged man who claims to have played with all the soul greatsbut he is about as hip as an old man wearing slippers, and Deco who is violent with the microphone and all of the band hate but is kept because he has one of the greatest soul voices. It is really funny and the writng style of Doyle is great as he uses colloquial language which moves at such a fast comical pace.
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Ashamed to say it's taken me this long to read this!

If you've seen the film or the theatre show, this is the original story and a must read. Cracking pace and flies beautifully - just like the film.
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I saw the film and the London show before picking up this 1980's book. The dialog is still hilarious, and the basis for the stage show, but Alan Parker's 1991 film added so much to the plot and expanded the basic characters so effectively that I was disappointed in the book. If you've had no contact with this Dublin fable it's still fascinating. If you know the film then don't bother - except as a piece of research.
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