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Publisher's Summary

Jimmy Rabbitte of The Commitments returns in the triumphant new novel from the Booker Prize–winning author.

The distinct wit and lively, authentic dialogue that are the hallmarks of Roddy Doyle’s fiction are on a full display as he reintroduces Jimmy Rabbitte in this follow-up to his beloved debut novel, The Commitments.

In the 1980s Jimmy Rabbitte formed the Commitments, a ragtag, blue-collar collective of Irish youths determined to bring the soul music stylings of James Brown and Percy Sledge to Dublin. Time proves a great equalizer for Jimmy as he’s now approaching 50 with a loving wife, four kids, and a recent cancer diagnosis that leaves him feeling shattered and frightened.

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 for their resurrected albums. As he battles his illness on his path through Dublin, Jimmy manages to reconnect with his own past, most notably Commitments guitarist Liam "Outspan" Foster and the still-beautiful backup vocalist Imelda Quirk. Jimmy also learns the trumpet, reunites with his long-lost brother, and rediscovers the joys of fatherhood.

An immensely funny and poignant novel, The Guts captures friendship, family, the power of music, the specter of death, and the zeal for life. Jimmy Rabbitte of The Commitments returns in the triumphant new novel from the Booker Prize–winning author.

©2014 Roddy Doyle (P)2014 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Doyle's Jimmy Rabbitte reappears, dealing with cancer, mortality, and love.... I was undone by the emotional clarity of the writing itself, and by the calm, but never static, way Doyle has of presenting a scene." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Quintessential Doyle...both laugh-out-loud funny and disarmingly moving.... [It] contains some of the snappiest, wittiest, most believable, and exhilarating dialogue in fiction.... To make a story about middle-aged men battling cancer a largely effervescent lark without a trace of sentimentality is a notable achievement." (The Boston Globe)

"Roddy Doyle is a great master of dialogue, which is his narrative medium-- the main way he tells. And it's impossible for anyone, I would think, not to laugh out loud at the wit and shock of it.... If [The Guts] has a unifying theme, it is the awareness of death, and the fresh perspective on life thrown by its advancing shadow." (The New York Review of Books)

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Best audiobook since Wolf Hall

A terrific Roddy Doyle -- heartbreaking and hilarious. The reader was one of the best audiobook readers I've heard. I often return books because I don't like the reader. Please, Laurence Kinlin, record more books!

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Narrator Makes the Story

I truly love the way Roddy Doyle's characters are so true to life. They are just regular people and so easy to relate to.
The narrator on this book is superb! He absolutely makes this book so much fun to listen to.
Another great book!