In the 1980s Jimmy Rabbitte formed the Commitments, a ragtag, blue-collar collective of Irish youths determined to bring the soul music stylings of James Brown and Percy Sledge to Dublin. Time proves a great equalizer for Jimmy as he’s now approaching fifty with a loving wife, four kids, and a recent cancer diagnosis that leaves him feeling shattered and frightened.
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 for their resurrected albums. As he battles his illness on his path through Dublin, Jimmy manages to reconnect with his own past, most notably Commitments guitarist Liam “Outspan” Foster and the still beautiful backup vocalist Imelda Quirk. Jimmy also learns the trumpet, reunites with his long-lost brother, and rediscovers the joys of fatherhood.
An immensely funny and poignant novel, The Guts ($27.95) captures friendship, family, the power of music, the specter of death, and the zeal for life.
Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels, two short story collections, and a nonfiction book. In 1993 he won the Booker Prize for his novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His 1991 novel, The Van, was a Booker Prize finalist. He lives in Dublin.
Jimmy Rabbitte of "The Commitments "returns in the triumphant new novel from the Booker Prize winning author
The distinct wit and lively, authentic dialogue that are the hallmarks of Roddy Doyle's fiction are on a full display as he reintroduces Jimmy Rabbitte in this follow-up to his beloved debut novel "The Commitments."