Monday, February 10, 2014

The Guts
By Roddy Doyle

Dublin music promoter Jimmy Rabbitte (from The Commitments) is dealing with a few problems going into mid-life: a recent diagnosis of bowel cancer, the recession hurting his business; and his dog-in-law's visit.

When he learns the Catholic Church is planning a world conference in Dublin -- that the Pope may or may not attend -- he comes up with a money-making plan and enlists the help of an American grad student named Ocean and his elderly, deaf gay uncle. Later, the plan develops into a not-totally-honest scheme that turns out better than anyone could have hoped.

Along the way, Jimmy must deal with quite a few quirky characters including his business partner who insists on calling him "Jimbo" despite his disdain for the name; a husband and wife punk music group who break up every time they perform; his father who insists on misspelling his text messages; and his 14-year-old daughter who has declared that she's a vegetarian -- except when the family gets Chinese takeout.

The final act takes place at a Woodstock-like event called Electric Park and is pure perfection. It goes from hilarious to heart-wrenching to exhilarating and back before you can say Dexy's Midnight Runners.

Note: I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

3 1/2 out of 5

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