The Van Paperback – 2 Apr 1992
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"A wonderfully funny book, that crackles and spits like fat in the fryer. It is also very touching...fine entertainment" (Daily Telegraph)
"The last novel of his superb trilogy about the Rabbitte family of North Dublin...often hilarious, always enthralling and - this really is the case - unputdownable" (Sunday Times)
"Roddy Doyle is a phenomenon... The Van is not just a very funny book, it is also faultless comic writing" (New Statesman)
"There have been no novels published this year which are as funny, as understanding about the triumphs and indignities of family life, or as brave in touching upon the raw nerves of the male psyche" (Guardian)
'A hilarious and hugely affectionate novel' Independent on Sunday
By the bestselling author of The Commitments, now a long-running West End stage show.
'The musical we've been waiting for... So good I almost wept' Sunday Times
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Top Customer Reviews
Where "The Commitments" followed Jimmy Rabbite's attempts to bring soul "back" to Dublin, he takes a back seat in "The Snapper". (He now hopes to be a famous DJ, rather than a manager or a drummer - an ambition that quickly earns him the nickname "Larry Gogan". You'll probably need to have spent little time in Ireland to catch that one... ). Instead, the starring roles go to his sister, Sharon, and his father, Jimmy Senior. The book opens with Sharon in a horrible situation : twenty years old, still living at home and three months pregnant, she's breaking the 'bad' news to her parents. She's decided not to name the father - though, there's plenty of speculation, suggestion and rumour over the following six months. Some of it is embarrassingly close to the mark, and causes her no end of trouble. While Sharon's pregnancy obviously isn't easy for her, it also puts Jimmy Snr through the mill - shock, concern, embarrassment and anger. He even, briefly, casts himself as her champion in defending her honour.
A very enjoyable and easily book - it's also a good deal better than "The Commitments". While the language is (authentically) 'colourful', it's generally a good-natured book and there's plenty of humour. (However, some of the humour may be lost if you're not familiar with the Irish dialect). Well worth reading.
The dialogue crackles with Dublin wit and humour and the cast of characters is wonderful. The story is a funny and poignant look at the relationship between two pals, Jimmy Sr. and Bimbo. Jimmy has always been the leader, the worldly wise one who sets the agenda, and his best friend, Bimbo, has always been his compliant wingman. Always ready to go along with and be guided by Jimmy who knows best.
Jimmy's been made redundant before the story opens and is delighted when Bimbo suffers the same fate. Not because Bimbo's been thrown on the scrapheap; Jimmy knows what that's like and wouldn't wish it on anybody; but as it's happened Jimmy doesn't see why he can't make the best of it for both their sakes.
Now that Bimbo has his days free he's a little ready made friend for Jimmy to play with, and after an initial rocky start as an unemployed statistic, Bimbo gradually gets into the swing of things and the pair are soon filling their days in one another's company playing pitch and putt, babysitting Jimmy's granddaughter and doing lots of other things together.
Bimbo's not happy and wants a job, almost any job will do, at one point he even considers applying for a McJob complete with nylon uniform. Jimmy's not keen for this to happen. It would threaten, what if perhaps not the exactly idyllic, then certainly the bearable existence that Jimmy's living day-to-day with his friend.Read more ›
Told in Roddy Doyle's inimitably brilliant style, this is recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
yeah its funny but cleverly has a serious subject matter all wrapped around a down to earth family, they swear alot but i suppose that's reality. Read morePublished 16 months ago by neil gibson
Heard a review on Radio 2 and bought this afterwards, if you want to feel like you are in the home of a family from The Jeremy Kyle Show buy it and enjoy, I don't and found it... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mr. Jonathan Dixon