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  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529112672
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99


A masterful novel about coming-of-age and finding love in Dublin's pubs, from the Booker-winning Roddy Doyle

'A profound examination of friendship, romantic confusion and mortality' John Boyne

One summer's evening, two men meet up in a Dublin restaurant. Old friends, now married and with grown-up children, their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy a grief he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be.

As two pints turns to three, then five, Davy and Joe set out to revisit the haunts of their youth. With the ghosts of Dublin entwining around them - the pubs, the parties, the broken hearts and bungled affairs - the men find themselves face-to-face with the realities of friendship.

  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529112672
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van and Smile, two collections of short stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Also by Roddy Doyle

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Praise for Love

Doyle's fast-paced, dialogue-driven style is so real it feels like you're eavesdropping on the conversation. He captures the heartbreak and humour of long-term friendship exceptionally and ends the book with a tenderness that will take your breath away. It's wonderful.


Doyle puts feeling first in this novel by putting it last, in the final pages... In the end, you see that the sacred world of the two friends was lurking in all that preceded this final scene.

The New York Times Book Review

Fast-paced and deceptively easy to read... Goes down as smoothly as gulps of beer.

Boston Globe

Here is a paean to all things Irish. Fans of [Doyle] will be glad to follow old mates Davy and Joe through a pub crawl that is both elegiac and hilarious.

Washington Post

[A] witty, satisfying novel about male friendship, aging, and guilt... This one is a winner.

Publisher's Weekly

Doyle is justly renowned for his whip-smart dialogue... And there is beauty and compassion in Mr Doyle's sculpted, spare writing. Among all the banter and gags he manages to articulate feelings that are rarely expressed so fittingly... Love is a reminder that its author is one to treasure.


Love by Roddy Doyle weaves memory and fiction as two childhood friends reunite over pints and revisit the vagaries of their youth. Read it if you cry-laughed through The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe and tittered at Steve Coogan's The Trip.

Irish Tatler

Roddy Doyle has never lacked ambition, writing complex novels that appear straightforward: heavy on the dialogue, simple in the language, deep in the lives of ordinary working people... [Love's] effect is devastating.

John Self, The Times

A praise-song to the Irish pub... The reader is dropped into the familiar, perfect rhythm of Roddy Doyle's effortless dialogue...good humour and camaraderie.

Erica Wagner, Financial Times

No one does boozy male regret better than Doyle, and he's on typically fluent form in this slow-burn tale of two old friends... A narrative engine that Doyle has perfected over decades.

Anthony Cummins, Mail on Sunday

Sharp, funny... Easy to read, hard to forget.

Teddy Jamieson, Herald Scotland

So perfectly constructed it is hard to believe it is really just about two old school friends getting drunk, and drunker... [Love] seems to bottle what male friendship can be like.

Chris Harvey, Irish Independent

There are frequent flashes of humour, always part of the fabric of Doyle's work, music references galore...and moments of poignant nostalgia, especially about the joy of falling in love for the first time... [Love is] tender, moving.

Martin Chilton, Independent

Roddy Doyle might be our greatest poet of the pub... Love, his 11th novel, makes the pub not just the instrument but the object of affection. In structure, it is a bar crawl; in substance, it is a love letter.

Susannah Goldsbrough, Daily Telegraph

Roddy Doyle is one of the most recognisable faces - and voices - in Irish literature.


He's a comic genius.

Diana Hendry, Spectator

Masterly... A first-rate novel about the different bonds between men and the ineffable mysteries of love.

Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

Deeply moving... [Doyle is] an exceptionally gifted writer... Wonderful.

Barney Norris, Guardian

Doyle is so adept a writer... [Love is] exhilarating.

Alan Massie, Scotsman

Fizzing dialogue...bawdy humour, nostalgia for times gone by, and a deeply moving ending.

Noreen Barr, Edinburgh Evening News

Love is altogether spellbinding... The whole book is audacious, richly layered and often comic, but ultimately deeply moving... Move over Socrates and watch an Irish master of dialogue at work.

David Monagan, Irish Examiner

A tangled and mesmeric novel that consists entirely of conversation which is about all the things that don't need to be spoken and the things that can't be said.

Claire Allfree, Daily Mail *Christmas Fiction*

[A] tender, funny novel about love, loss and male friendship.

Jane Shilling, Daily Mail

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