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The Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments / The Snapper / The Van

(The Barrytown Trilogy #1-3)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,743 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
Roddy Doyle's winning trio of comic novels depicting the daily life and times of the Rabbitte family in working-class Dublin.

The Commitments
Still one of the freshest and funniest rock 'n' roll novels ever written, Doyle's first book portrays a group of aspiring musicians on a mission: to bring soul to Dublin.

The Snapper
Doyle's sparkling second novel observes the progressio
Paperback, 633 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin Books (first published October 11th 1993)
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JT really now? it's just that stereotypical irish humour. tosser off now and have a pint or two. yes i am being facetious, the reference to getting lost…morereally now? it's just that stereotypical irish humour. tosser off now and have a pint or two. yes i am being facetious, the reference to getting lost that is. oh me and my big mouth like bono.(less)

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Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish, poignant, humour
Really enjoyed this trilogy featuring the Rabbitte family from a town outside of Dublin. It was the second and third book in the trilogy which really captured my attention.
All of the books are written with humour but important themes such as family ties, self respect and friendship are well expressed.

I initially had some difficulty with some of the wording but as I read on it was easy to get the gist of what the author was saying. I laughed out loud in places and even though the trilogy was extr
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of Irish slang and written to capture some of the accent. This trilogy centers around the Rabbitte family. Each book has a different tone, which was interesting to me since the bulk of the story is conveyed in oddly formatted dialogue. Why is that interesting at all? I struggle to write beyond mere summarizations so I get overexcited when I think I recognize the craft in writing.

The first is this chuckling wind-up, not really about the family but following the eldest son who forms a soul ba
Sarah Beaudoin
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Barrytown Trilogy is a collection of three novels - The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van - which all follow members of the Rabbitte family in their lives in a small town outside of Dublin.

I picked this book up for two reasons. I previously only knew Roddy Doyle through his short stories that are sometimes in the New Yorker, and he had been on my list of authors to look into for some time. Once I started looking at his novels though, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he was the ma
Emma Flanagan
I read the trilogy for my Goodreads Ireland bookclub. We'd selected it as it has just been announced as next years Dublin One City, One Book. I was familiar with the films of The Commitments and The Snapper but had never read the books, and I knew nothing about The Van.

Doyle really captures the spirit, the character, and the language of Dubliners. The city through its people springs off the page.

The three books follow different members of the Rabbite family. The Commitments follows Jimmy Jr. t
Nicole Pesce
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone, but especially if there's some Irish blood coursing through your veins.
Recommended to Nicole by: My mother Lydia Doyle (no relation to the author).
On the first story (The Commitments) about three Dubliners trying to start a band (in the 80s) and already the dialog and premise are totally slaying me (as in, it's hilarious) -- thankfully, I was just in Ireland recently, so I can more-or-less make out the jargon.
I ripped through the first two novels ("The Commitments" and "The Snapper") in just a couple of days, but it's taken a couple of weeks to wrap the third & final chapter of the madcap (and infectious) Rabbitte family because of
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
I always like to read an author's earliest books -- you usually see a lot of growth over a short space. Here especially.

I've never been to Dublin, nor Ireland, but after reading this, I feel as if I had. The dialogue is brilliant, and hilarious -- again, not having been, I don't know if people there actually talk like this, but if they don't, they should. Also, for the occasionally rough language, Doyle really spreads the love around, without it getting schmaltzy -- the locale, the characters --
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My standard "book-review" is here: , but a few more personal notes on Barrytown:

-These stories are often hysterical, and I've caught myself copying the rhythm and slang of the dialog in my day-to-day speak; mostly muttering "Jaysis" under my breath
- The blurb for The Van made it seem like it was about a couple of buddies following the Irish World Cup team, but it really isn't. That's not a bad thing, mind you; but it's more about a crisis of identity and
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
[Review coming]!
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read The Snapper and The Van before, but the price for The Commitments was better as part of the trilogy so I started reading all three again.

The Snapper and The Commitments were excellently funny novels that really captured Dublin of the era. They also were just challenging enough to make the reader have to think about how the characters ended up where they were. Especially The Snapper which took on Sharon's encounter with the father of the sanpper as rape, which was and still is today i
Evan Lien
About a boy, who decides to form a soul group with his mates to bring the people's music to the people. Because he means that the irish are the niggers of Europe.
Personally I found it really charming, though a bit slow. A few remarkable and lovable characters in there, but I felt like I was reading a 150 pages long short story. 2 stars for this title.

The snapper shows a different side of the Rabbitte family, seeing as 90 % of the commitments was just them sing
Donna McCaul Thibodeau
This was a reread for me, as I read all these novels years ago. I think I enjoyed them more when I was younger. I also saw the three films. The Commitments was a rarity - the film was much better than the book. It really fleshed out the characters and Doyle's spare prose. The Snapper was better. The relationship between Sharon and her father was well written. I didn't really care for the way the pregnancy came about, however. The Van was the longest and went into a lot of detail as to the relati ...more
Cláudia Parra
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a great reading to me because it shows Dublin and its people as they are, their culture, language, problems and difficulties as well. If you have already been in Dublin, the reading is a way to back there and remember everything you saw and felt. The first part "The Commitments", in my opninion, is the poorer history, The Snapper and The Van are "deeper" , The Van wins. It is not a "high literary value" book, anyway it remembers me Ireland and I love it.
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bibliobabes
We read the second story, The Snapper, for my book club, and then watched the movie to compare the two. The book really didn't grab me, like I thought it would. I did enjoy getting to know the Rabbitte family, along with Jimmy's goofy friends. Still, when I was reading it, I definitely had a "I can take it or leave it" feeling.

The movie was a decent adaptation. But, as with most movies based on books, the book was better. :-)
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Commitments gets a solid 5/5 ... the other two are worth reading but hit lower peaks, less often. I haven't seen the movie but don't know how it could be any better -- funnier, quicker, sweeter, or even more musical -- than this.
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fair play te ya, Mr. Doyle. Ya big bollix.
Louise Jones
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eleven (!) years after picking up the book I finally got around to reading it, as research for my next trip. The first stories weren't new to me, having watched "The Commitments" and "The Snapper" before, so "The Van" actually ended up being my favorite story. It might have started out slow, but in the end it provided me with a good insight into a certain irish society. A very interesting read.
Andy Luke
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some cleverness, majorly entertainment with a warm humanist centre. Doyle, of course, is the man for dialogue: all experimental form in The Commitments; in The Snapper dialed back for descriptive and The Van, a super fusion very grand finale of humility and timing.
John M.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Doyle brings the Rabbitte family to life and then plunks you down at the dinner table with them! Never have I felt more that I knew the characters like close friends or, dare I say it, family! The Rabbittes embody the lower middle class, not just of Dublin, or Ireland, but the world.
Lesley Webb
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read, loved all of them. Had seen the movie ' The Commitments' prior to reading.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The Commitments - 3 stars
The Snapper - 2 1/2 stars
The Van - 3 stars
The Commitments movie - shite
Daniel Rowe
Liked all three stories in this book. Hilarious at times, downright sad at others. Doyle is delightful in so many ways and the writing style is truly original.
Trevor Vick
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oozing Irish charm and wit.
Must admit there were indeed moments when I bust me hole and soiled me kaks!
Nov 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: my-library
1 city 1 book
Abraham Thunderwolf
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Yes I know it's actually 3 different novels, but it's in one handy book. How handy is it? Pretty handy. I'm not saying that books are better than e-readers, but they have more uses. You can carve out pages from a book and keep florid love letter in it. You can use a book to block to form a temporary visor, or put it over your face if you want to take a nap in the sun. If you want to spy on people it's much easier to do it with a big book instead of a Kindle or the like. In a pinch you can use th ...more
Andrew Davis
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Commitments:
A brief and successful story of a chaotic soul band, set up by Jimmy Rabbitte in Dublin. Full of colourful characters continuously fighting with each other about music, girls and almost everything else. Jimmy Rabbitte having brought together a group of young men and women brings in a generation older trumpet player, who whilst teaching them about soul music manages to get involved with three female singers, and ultimately leads to other band members to abandon the group.
The movie
Jul 17, 2009 rated it liked it
A barrel of laughs compared to Angela's Ashes! A few years in the life of the Rabbittes, a working class Irish family living in Barrytown (outside of Dublin) in the late 80s. This is a quick read trilogy: The Commitments (yes, that Commitments, the great movie that came out in 1991 and re-energized soul sung by white people), The Snapper and The Van.

I liked The Commitments movie better than the book (a rarity) since the music came alive on screen (and audibly, obviously) much more than on the p
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle. Three books in one - The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van. A wonderful read. I love this book, I have read it before, long time ago, but it bears a second reading. It follows the story of members of the Rabbitte family. The first book, The Commitments, is probably the most famous (because of the Alan Parker film) and follows Jimmy (junior) and his formation (and demise) of a soul band in Ireland. The second book follows the fortunes of Sharon, pregnant a ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Three books about 3 different members of a blue-collar Irish family. The Commitments is about the eldest son and his fascination with music. A successful band, The Commitments, is too successful for its own good. Jimmy is the manager, who goes on to become a DJ. The Snapper is about the eldest daughter and her pregnancy. The snapper is a term for baby. With this pregnancy we begin to hear more about the father, Jimmy Sr, as he decides with a grandchild on the way he must become a more respectabl ...more
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves language, laughing, Dublin, or unpretentious characters.
Picked this up in Dublin, having seen the movies of all three (The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van), and became an instant Roddy Doyle aficionado. The writing is very fast, and his writing conjures up real working class Irish sounds, attitudes, and locations like nothing else. In his, and especially his characters' mouths, words for verything from everyday banalities to unbroken dreams are fresh and present and moving and hilarious.
The Commitments focuses on Jimmy Rabbitte Jr. and his que
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Roddy Doyle (Irish: Ruaidhrí Ó Dúill) is an Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter. Several of his books have been made into successful films, beginning with The Commitments in 1991. He won the Booker Prize in 1993.

Doyle grew up in Kilbarrack, Dublin. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from University College, Dublin. He spent several years as an English and geography teacher before becoming

Other books in the series

The Barrytown Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Commitments (The Barrytown Trilogy, #1)
  • The Snapper (The Barrytown Trilogy, #2)
  • The Van (The Barrytown Trilogy, #3)