The Guts

Publisher: Vintage Canada
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.


"Characters so present you could pinch yourself black and blue and they'd still be standing right there in front of you. Sad, saucy, lyrical, hilarious, tragic, honest and wise. Put on your crash helmet and hold your heart in your fist, you're in for a ride. Doyle is a singular voice. And this book sings. Alive, alive-oh!" --Lisa Moore, author of February and Caught

"Everything old is new again in Roddy Doyle's latest novel, The Guts. There is a knack to breaking the reader's heart and making them laugh out loud with the same sentence. Roddy Doyle and a few other writers have it. This book made me bust--yes, a GUT--and darn near broke, and certainly stole, my heart. Beautiful stuff from a great writer and a cast of characters who are not what they used to be: they're even better." --Wayne Johnston, author of The Son of a Certain Woman

"The Commitments have returned to haunt our middle age. The financial challenges, health woes and marital quandaries of mid-life have rarely been this funny or this touching." --Don Gillmor, author of Mount Pleasant