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Publisher's Summary

Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of the soul.

Ably managed by Jimmy Rabitte, brilliantly coached by Joel 'The Lips' Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from Paris Hall to immortality on vinyl.

But can The Commitments live up to their name?

©2013 Roddy Doyle (P)1987 Random House Audiobooks

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What listeners say about The Commitments

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mr Neil Aspinall
  • Mr Neil Aspinall
  • 12-09-20

Why the singing?

It's The Commitments, we know the story, we trust Roddy Doyle.. Why the awful singing?

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Ratty Kath
  • Ratty Kath
  • 12-07-20

Shouty, bad singing and no plot

I only listened to this to the end because it was on a Top 100 Books to Read Before You Die poster. I wish I hadn’t bothered. There seems no point to this book- there’s no story or plot and the words mostly just consist of dialogue and singing. And the singing is awful. And the swearing. Reading the actual book might be better, but do not listen to this audiobook unless you want your ears ringing with coarsely sung expletives and you don’t mind wasting 3 hours of your life.

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Profile Image for Joanf
  • Joanf
  • 10-20-19

F******great....

.... portrait of the life of a soul band in Dublin, last century. The film was terrific but the book is gentler, simpler, more intimate, worth visiting. You're right there, a fly on the wall, singing along. Beautifully read, recited, rhythm pulsate throughout.

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  • L. Reeves
  • 02-20-17

Great book spoiled by narrator.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would not recommend this version with Lawrence Kinlan as the narrator.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Laurence Kinlan?

The abridged version read by Aidan Gillan is so much better.

Any additional comments?

I bought this as I love Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy and this is the unabridged version so thought I'd prefer it just as I remember reading it. However, Lawrence Kinlan spoiled it for me. A lot of the content is made up of the songs the band perform and the sounds from the instruments but Kinlan just roars out the lot. Just so over the top and he really isn't a singer by any means. I bought the abridged version narrated by Aidan Gillan and he is excellent. He lets the text speak for itself without making a meal of it and his singing and the sounds from the instruments are measured and easy to listen to.

Kinlan narrates another Roddy Doyle's book, The Guts and does a great job but that has virtually no actual songs. The one he does read is really very good and he seems to have calmed down considerably.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-17

Really didn't enjoy this

I downloaded this to help me sleep so as you can imagine it definitely didn't work, all the annoying singing was diabolical just irritating noise,id been told the van was brilliant but since its the sequel to the commitments I had to listen to this first . It's a rare occurrence for me to be happy when I come to the end of a book or in this case audible story but when this was finished I was so relieved, it was a total waste of time and im happy its finished and I definitely wouldn't recommend it