Roddy Doyle’s first ever collection of stories.
For the past few years Roddy Doyle has been writing stories for Metro Eireann, a newspaper started by, and aimed at, immigrants to Ireland. Each of the stories took a new slant on the immigrant experience, something of increasing relevance and importance in today’s Ireland.
The stories range from ‘Guess Who’s Coming to the Dinner’, where a father who prides himself on his open-mindedness when his daughters talk about sex, is forced to confront his feelings when one of them brings home a black fella, to a terrifying ghost story, ‘The Pram’, in which a Polish nanny grows impatient with her charge’s older sisters and decides – in a phrase she has learnt – to ‘scare them shitless’.
Most of the stories are very funny – in ‘57% Irish’ Ray Brady tries to devise a test of Irishness by measuring reactions to Robbie Keane’s goal against Germany in the 2002 World Cup, Riverdance and ‘Danny Boy’ – others deeply moving. And best of all, in the title story itself,Jimmy Rabbitte, the man who formed The Commitments, decides it’s time to find a new band, and this time no White Irish need apply. Multicultural to a fault, The Deportees specialise not in soul music this time, but the songs of Woody Guthrie.
“Writing at the top of his form...Doyle proves a brilliant, offbeat Dublin diplomat. He imagines, with humour and humanity, the difficulties involved in being Irish and in being foreign and unassimilated in Ireland. He has the sharpest eye, the wildest sense of humour and the most benevolent heart”
“The evident sincerity and unrepentant good cheer of these stories will carry the reader a long way with them”
Independent on Sunday
“Constantly inventive, extremely funny and illustrate his ability to get under the skin of ordinary people”
“Much to admire and enjoy”
“The dialogue throughout is as fast and funny as Doyle fans could expect, with the tension ratcheted up by constant potential for cross-cultural faux pas”
“Very funny and rumbustious...When these stories are good...they're absolutely hilarious...he's the master of lit-com banter...Doyle's sharp-witted analysis of the reasons for the recent changes in Irish society are certainly worth considering”
“Roddy Doyle's writing goes over as smoothly as a pint of Guinness down the throat of a Dubliner lost in a desert for a fortnight”
“A classic romp through Doyle's Dublin”
“It's as if Roddy Doyle went out on the streets for you with his own microphone and camcorder ...You're there, whether you want to be or not”
Maeve Binchy, The Times