Roddy Doyle. Viking, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-984880-45-1
This witty, satisfying novel about male friendship, aging, and guilt from Doyle (A Star Called Henry) dramatizes language’s inadequacies when it comes to affairs of the heart. “The words are letting me down,” says Dubliner Joe to Davy, his old friend visiting from England, while telling him that he has left his wife for another woman, Jessica, whom they both briefly adored as young men. Over pints at several pubs, the two 50-something Irishmen get back into their old rhythms and revive, or occasionally reinvent, the past. Joe grasps for the right metaphors or analogies with which to explain his life-altering decision to Davy as much as to himself, “testing the words” for how they sound. Davy, burdened by his own sense of guilt with regard to his rapidly declining father, is at times intrigued, bored, contemptuous, resentful, provoking, or supportive of his friend as Joe circles around his infidelity with an almost Jamesian vagueness. Some readers may chafe at Doyle’s leisurely unfolding of the plot, though the two men are nothing if not good company. By closing time, Doyle has focused the novel’s rambling energy into an elegiac and sobering climax. This one is a winner. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2020
Release date: 06/23/2020
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7352-7988-9
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9848-8046-8
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-9848-8047-5
Library Binding - 452 pages - 978-1-4328-8391-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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