Pat had been best friends with Joe Murphy since they were kids. But five years ago they had a fight. A big one, and they haven’t spoken since — till the day before Joe’s funeral.
What? On the day before his funeral Joe would be dead, wouldn’t he?
Yes, he would…
Dead Man Talking is a book in the Quick Reads series which sets out to show that books and reading can be for everyone. Each year they commission authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. They are the same as mainstream books in every respect but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading. Dead Man Talking was published in February.
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As part of a tiny elite group of football players, Roy Keane has had a life like no other. His status as one of football’s greatest stars is undisputed, but what of the challenges beyond the pitch? How did he succeed in coming to terms with life as a former Manchester United and Ireland leader and champion, reinventing himself as a manager and then a broadcaster, and cope with the psychological struggles this entailed? The Second Half blends anecdote and reflection in Roy Keane’s unique voice.
Guardian Edinburgh books podcast: Roddy Doyle and Mark Forsyth
11 August 2013
Jimmy Rabbitte of The Commitments makes a happy return – as do some of the more exotic words in the world’s dictionaries.
It’s 27 years since Roddy Doyle’s Jimmy Rabbitte started trying to import soul to Dublin. Doyle joins us to update us on his hapless hero, now aged 47 and suffering from bowel cancer. If Jimmy’s stock in trade is the single evasive word – “grand” – Mark Forsyth’s is all the words he might have used were he to have had had access to some of the world’s smaller dictionaries.
Listen to the Podcast.
Read Roddy Doyle’s interview with Jake Kerridge for The Telegraph.
There is something about Roddy Doyle that reminds you, when you meet him, that he worked as a teacher for many years, even after he had become one of Ireland’s biggest literary celebrities. He has the air of the schoolmaster – a gently sardonic manner belied by the enthusiasm glinting in the eyes behind his owlish specs. My guess is he was a very good one…
Read in interview.
Published in hardback by Jonathan Cape, 11 September 2014, Ebook also available.
Two men meet for a pint – or two – in a Dublin pub. They chew the fat, set the world to rights, curse the ref, say a last farewell…
In this second collection of comic dialogues Doyle’s drinkers ponder: a topless Kate Middleton; Barack and Michelle Obama (‘fuckin’ gorgeous’); David Beckham (‘Would you tattoo your kids’ names on the back of your neck?’ ‘They wouldn’t fit’); Jimmy Savile (‘a gobshite’); the financial crisis (again); abortion (again); and horsemeat in your burger. Once again, those we have lost troop through their thoughts – Lou Reed, Seamus Heaney, Reg Presley, Nelson Mandela, Phil Everly, Margaret Thatcher, Shirley Temple – and they still have the ability to ask the really fundamental questions like ‘Would you take penalty points for your missis?’.
When Uncle Ben’s Dublin business fails, it’s clear to Gloria and Raymond that something is wrong. He just isn’t his usual cheerful self. So when the children overhear their granny saying that the Black Dog has settled on Ben’s back and he won’t be OK until it’s gone, they decide they’re going to get rid of it. Gathering all their courage the children set out on a midnight quest to hunt down the Black Dog and chase it away. But they aren’t the only kids on the mission. Loads of other children are searching for it too, because the Black Dog is hounding lots of Dublin’s adults. Together – and with the help of magical animals, birds and rodents – the children manage to corner the Black Dog . . . but will they have the courage and cleverness to … Read More »
Jimmy Rabbitte is back.
The man who invented the Commitments back in the eighties is now forty-seven, with a loving wife, four kids … and bowel cancer. He isn’t dying, he thinks, but he might be.
Jimmy still loves his music, and he still loves to hustle – his new thing is finding old bands and then finding the people who loved them enough to pay money for their resurrected singles and albums. On his path through Dublin he meets two of the Commitments – Outspan, whose own illness is probably terminal, and Imelda Quirk, still as gorgeous as ever. He is reunited with his long-lost brother and learns to play the trumpet.
This warm, funny novel is about friendship and family, about facing death and opting for life. It climaxes in one of the great passages in Roddy Doyle’s fiction: four middle-aged … Read More »
Uk & Ireland Tour 2016/17
Link to buy tickets.