A hilarious and hugely affectionate novel' Independent on Sunday By the bestselling author of The Commitments, now a long-running West End stage show. 'The musical we've been waiting for... So good I almost wept' Sunday Times
Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of nine acclaimed novels, one collection of short stories and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His last book, The Dead Republic, was the final volume in the Henry Smart trilogy.
The final novel of a trilogy about the working-class Rabbitte family of Dublin (following The Commitments and The Snapper ), shortlisted for last year's Booker Prize, demonstrates a brash originality and humor that are both uniquely Irish and shrewdly universal. Jimmy Rabbitte Sr. is without a job or a raison d'etre. Then his pal Bimbo gets sacked from his bakery job and the two use Bimbo's unemployment money to buy a ramshackle fish-and-chips van. In hilarious scenes that recall the hot-dog-wagon disaster in John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces , Jimmy and Bimbo prove as determined as they are inept at making a go of their business (the vivid descriptions of unhygienically fried chips and grilled sausages could keep readers away from street food for quite a long time). In Jimmy, a likable fellow who tries to do right by his colorful and uncontrollable brood, Doyle has created an authentic hero of modern-day Ireland. That the author, a 33-year-old Dubliner, is also a vastly successful playwright will astonish no one who has read his superb dialogue. Tremendous good fun, devoid of pretension, this novel invites comparison with the best of 20th-century Irish literature. Readers who missed The Snapper first time around can find it in a forthcoming Penguin paperback. (Aug.)
"A wonderfully funny book, that crackles and spits like fat in the fryer. It is also very touching...fine entertainment" * Daily Telegraph *
"The last novel of his superb trilogy about the Rabbitte family of North Dublin...often hilarious, always enthralling and - this really is the case - unputdownable" * Sunday Times *
"Roddy Doyle is a phenomenon... The Van is not just a very funny book, it is also faultless comic writing" * New Statesman *
"There have been no novels published this year which are as funny, as understanding about the triumphs and indignities of family life, or as brave in touching upon the raw nerves of the male psyche" * Guardian *