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March 2019: Debut > The Commitments by Roddy Doyle- 4 Stars

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message 1: by Hayjay315 (new)

Hayjay315 | 222 comments Music can move the soul to dance. It can remind you there is passion and fun in the world and Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments embodies all of this. If you are a fan of the Blues Brothers movies you will love this book.

A rollicking band of working-class Irish youth calling themselves The Commitments sets out with the mission of bringing soul music to Dublin and the book covers the different stages of the band from creation to initial gigs and honing their sound to getting more name recognition. Two of the characters are especially memorable; and include the band manager Jimmy and Joey The Lips Fagan on the trumpet who have a number of monologues where they elucidate the meaning of soul music to their bandmates in a manner that captures the essence of this genre. Along with this, the reader is taken on a tour of the great songs and musicians who so characterize this genre as the band builds up their gig material. Will the band hit it big? You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out.

A brief warning that this book has heavy usage of the f word so if you are bothered by swearing I would recommend avoiding this one. Also, much of the dialogue is written in a slang form like the following “Wha’ comes after tha?” which could cause frustration to a reader who can’t learn to decipher the form being used.


message 2: by NancyJ (last edited Apr 01, 2019 11:25PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5221 comments Great review. You captured the passion and energy that I remember from the movie. I loved it. The soundtrack is really great too. It would make a great companion to the book.

I've seen at least 2 or 3 of his films, and his stories have so much humor and heart. I should check out his books. I can imagine how the slang might be hard to read. The dialogue in the movie was sometimes hard to understand too. The characters had so much passion. I have a lot of books on my TBR that would match an Irish tag. I hope it comes up soon.


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