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The Guts Paperback – 1 Aug 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 808,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fairly typical Roddy Doyle 'feel' to this, but it hasn't really captured my imagination. It doesn't move quickly enough through the plot to maintain my interest - it's been on the go for a few weeks now and I just want to finish it and get on with the next book, but it doesn't keep calling me back to be read.
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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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By ACB(swansea) TOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Author Roddy Doyle's creation Jimmy Rabbitte is now 47 years old, married to a strong and supportive wife Aoife with 4 bright young children. He has made a profitable living out of his internet business of rooting out and selling old Irish punk or post-punk records and researching the bands from the 1970's and 80's, enough to move to an up-market house. Unfortunately a sales slump with the recession forces him to sell 75% of his business and engage in Celtic Rock, 'Riverdance for Nazis', as he calls it. He is able to pay off his mortgage from the sale yet he still feels grief that he has let something special and personal go from his life. To cap it all he is diagnosed with bowel cancer that will require surgery and chemotherapy. He has to tell his family the news starting with his father Jimmy Sr, over a pint, with a snappy exchange of brilliance and observation that contains elements of comedy, unease and despair. He also bumps into Commitments' singer, still gorgeous, Imelda, in the pub who gives him her phone number. Explaining the cancer to his wife and children, the boys in particular, are almost unbearably moving.

Ever optimistic, Jimmy replies anyone who asks him how he is with, "I'm grand", but as the everpresent possibility of death sinks in, Jimmy admits to himself that he feels 'shattered and frightened'. The cancer theme is a prominent plot line but handled without being sentimental, morbid, solemn or over-reflective. Jimmy surrounds himself with his family with a genuine love and affection. Doyle adds old friend Outspan who Jimmy meets whilst in the chemotherapy hospital unit. He has terminal lung cancer. Their meeting and conversation is a highlight of the book.
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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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