The Guts by Roddy Doyle

The Guts - Roddy Doyle

I won an ARC copy of this novel thanks to a Goodreads First Read giveaway.


A triumphant return to the characters of Booker Prize-winning writer Roddy Doyle's breakout first novel, The Commitments, now older, wiser, up against cancer and midlife. 

Jimmy Rabbitte is back. The man who invented the Commitments back in the 1980s is now 47, with a loving wife, 4 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 online for their resurrected singles and albums. On his path through Dublin, between chemo and work he meets two of the Commitments--Outspan Foster, whose own illness is probably terminal, and Imelda Quirk, still as gorgeous as ever. He is reunited with his long-lost brother, Les, 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: 4 middle-aged men at Ireland's hottest rock festival watching Jimmy's son's band, Moanin' at Midnight, pretending to be Bulgarian and playing a song called "I'm Goin' to Hell" that apparently hasn't been heard since 1932.... Why? You'll have to read The Guts to find out.


First thought: Oh shit. What the hell is this?


What I liked: I liked the unique writing style. Granted, it was actually very difficult for me to read it because of that but it was decent. I liked that it took place in Ireland and definitely liked the Irish humor and slang.


What I didn't like: I thought the plot was lacking. As it was a sequel to a book that I did not read, I felt a little lost at some point but nothing horrible. Still, I just got bored. I had thought I was going to enjoy it as I love music but it just didn't work for me.


Will I read more of this author? Probably not. I liked the writing style but not enough to read more.