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The commitments by Roddy Doyle
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The commitments (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Roddy Doyle

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901None9,844 (3.89)33
Member:jerhogan
Title:The commitments
Authors:Roddy Doyle
Info:New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books, 1989, c1987.
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The Commitments by Roddy Doyle (1987)

  1. 00
    The Ballydoolin privates by Eamon Francis (nessreader)
    nessreader: Ballydoolin is about young fellas from Dublin who join the army; they're a generation or 2 older than Doyle's heroes but very similar. Funny, earthy and warm.
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English (14)  Dutch (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
The summary initially attracted me to this book: a group of unruly youths get together to bring soul to Ireland - and bizarrely, they kind of do. Proving some things are universal, they face ego-problems, overzealous manager, delusions of grandeur, and struggles that transcend language barriers (I sometimes felt I needed a dictionary for the thick slang/accent combination being thrown around).

While most of the characters are strong (Mickey, for example, who is guaranteed a riot), the only complaint I have is that others feel almost interchangeable. I finally gave up and had to mentally refer to these by what instrument they played.

Still, overall very funny - anyone who ever wanted to start a band as a teenager will laugh with them, sometimes at them, but always secretly rooting for them to succeed. ( )
  kittyjay | Jul 11, 2013 |
If you can get used to the fuckin language this is a fuckin good read. Beware though if you are also offended by the c*** word!

Seriously: Roddy Doyle has a knack for bringing his characters to life. They seem so real:- faults, foul language, and all.

I enjoyed listening to a 2004 recording of an audio discussion with Roddy Doyle about this book that I found in the World Book Club archive of the BBC World Service.

( )
  pengvini | Mar 29, 2013 |
  BlueTysonSS | May 22, 2012 |
In which a bunch of working-class Irish youths simultaneously discover James Brown, their own musical talents, and that mysterious quality known as "soul." Various reviewers have already mentioned the film that was made of this novel just a few years after it was published, and you can see why somebody thought that this one would translate well to the screen: the most fun part of "The Commitments" is the lively, profane and riotously funny dialogue that ricochets back and forth between its characters. I'm sure that you'd have to be from Dublin to understand all of it, but, luckily, you don't have to be Irish to find it funny. The rest of "The Commitments" will seem familiar to anyone who's watched a few episodes of VH1's "Behind the Music" series: the band has a thrilling start, a few moments of glory, and a fast fade. Doyle has fun with some of the genre's cliches, though. The novel features a pretentious lead singer, a world-weary Soul Man, an unhinged drummer, and a woman who blows the band apart. Still, the stock character I enjoyed most was Jimmy, the record nerd-cum-Svengali who realizes that having the right influences and getting the right look counts for an awful lot in the music business. Curiously, Jimmy's character also makes "The Commitments" seem like a relic from a time before globalization and the attendant rise of internet culture. His hard-won musical expertise, and his idea that an Irish soul band is exactly the innovation that the Dublin music scene needs, seems quaint in a world where kids in Cape Town, Kyoto and Cork can download the entire Motown catalog in mere minutes and sample it at will. As an American, it's hard for me to believe that there were once teenagers who lived in a first-world nation who didn't already know exactly who James Brown was or couldn't sing a few bars of "I Feel Good" at the age of twelve, but, well, maybe that's just how they did music then, back in the old days. ( )
  TheAmpersand | Jan 15, 2012 |
not a bad read however not a patch on the wonderful film ( )
  kazimiera | Dec 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Epigraph
Eert uw vader en uw moeder, broeders en zusters.
Ook zij waren eens tè gekke vogels, weet je wel.
Ouders zijn soul.


JOEY THE LIPS FAGAN
"Fratelli e sorelle, onorate il padre e la madre.
Anche loro avevano la musica nel sangue,
una volta. I genitori sono soul".

JOEY LABBRA FAGAN
-SOMETIMES I FEEL SO NICE -
GOOD GOD -
I JUMP BACK

I WANNA KISS MYSELF -!
I GOT -
SOU -OU - OUL -
AN' I'M SUPERBAD -

JAMES BROWN, Superbad
Dedication
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Dit boek is opgedragen aan mijn moeder en mijn vader
First words
'We vragen het Jimmy,' zei Outspan. 'Jimmy weet het wel.'
- Chiediamolo a Jimmy, disse Outspan. - Jimmy lo saprà di sicuro.
Jimmy Rabbitte ne capiva di musica. Eccome se ne capiva. Qaundo andava in un centro, non lo si vedeva mai tornare a casa senza un nuovo album o un LP o come minimo un singolo. Ogni settimana Jimmy si divorava Melody Maker e NME, Hot Press ogni due settimane. Ascoltava Dave Fanning e John Peel. Leggeva perfino Jackie di sua sorella, quando nessuno lo vedeva. Senz'altro Jimmy ne capiva.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679721746, Paperback)

This funky, rude, unpretentious first novel traces the short, funny, and furious career of a group of working-class Irish kids who form a band, The Commitments. Their mission: to bring soul to Dublin!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A group of working-class Irish youths with a passion for the music of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding form a rock 'n' roll band and attempt to bring soul to Dublin.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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