The Commitments

The Commitments

Book - 1989
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In the first volume of the Barrytown Trilogy, Roddy Doyle, winner of the Booker Prize for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha , introduces The Commitments, a group of fame-starved, working-class Irish youths with a paradoxical passion for the music of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and a mission--to bring Soul to Dublin. Doyle writes about the band with a fan's enthusiasm and about Dublin with a native's cheerful knowingness. His book captures all the shadings of the rock experience: ambition, greed, and egotism--ans the redeeming, exhilarating joy of making music. The Commitments is one of the most engaging and believable novels about rock'n'roll ever written, a book whose brashness and originality have won it mainstream acclaim and underground cachet.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Vintage Books, 1989, c1987.
ISBN: 9780679721741
Characteristics: 165 p.


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Apr 18, 2018

When The Commitments was first published it was a inside look at life of blue collar, working class Dublin. It was a love letter to working-class Dublin and soul music. But if you read Roddy Doyle's other books in the Barrytown Series, "The Snapper, The Van and The Guts. The Commitments now reads like a history book of Dublin's past. Pubs and bars that used to have great local music are now Starbucks or other chain restaurants or coffee shops.

Still, the book in of its self has some of the best dialogue your ever going to read. Twenty somethings in a hard working band just trying to make it. If you like Music read this book, then watch the early '90s movie. Then finish the Barrytown series.

DPLcatherine Mar 09, 2018

Roddy Doyle is a fantastic storyteller, and this is a great, fun read -- about rock-n-roll and youth and ambition and dreams. Set in Dublin, this novel relies heavily on dialogue (in Irish accent) to advance the plot. I found myself reading it out load, just to enjoy the rhythms of the language (and the creative use of profanity the characters employ).

Aug 03, 2016

Doyle moves the story forward with dialogue and leaves the reader to intuit a lot, but it works wonderfully. It's a simply told, simple story that's almost perfect. Highly recommended.

Dec 31, 2015

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
The Commitments is by far one of Irish author Roddy Doyle’s most beloved novels, and for good reason. It is the story of two young men, Derek and “Outspan”, who find that their small time band isn’t working out. They decide to seek counsel from their friend Jimmy. Jimmy knows more about music then anyone, and always knows what is around the corner in the music industry. He tells the boys that they are going to start playing soul music. They are a bit surprised by this, but agree. With Jimmy now working as their manager they recruit a company of talented musicians (and amateurs too). Together The Commitments bring forth a new musical movement, “Dublin Soul”. Unfortunately, problems arise that disrupt the band. This book was a very fun read. The story line is simple, and the novel is just easy to read. The whole tone and the atmosphere is relaxed and the author invites you to look in on the lives of his characters. The Commitments contains Roddy Doyle’s trademark wit and humor. It is also an interesting portrait of life in working class Ireland. There exists a sort of optimism in the book, Doyle seems to say that out of nothing one can build anything; or tear it down and start again if you please. This book is a lot of fun, perfect for anyone who is new to Doyle’s work. I will however warn any potential readers that there is some strong language used in the book, that element may not be for everyone.

Nov 02, 2007

This is the first in a trilogy. Read The Snapper and then The Van after this. These books stand up on their own and the story really flows through the trilogy.


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