Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Deportees

by Roddy Doyle
There’s a love story, a horror story, a sequel, sort of, to The Commitments. Almost all of them have one thing in common. Someone born in Ireland meets someone who has come to live here.

The thing about short story collections is that there always is a couple too many of them; one or two I’d happily live without; the literary equivalents of those orphan chocolates on the bottom of the box. Not here. Eight stories here are all in their places. The title story, a happy-ending remake of The Commitments, is almost as good as the original. Less believable, sure, but hey. I’ve always admired Jimmy Rabbite’s musical taste. Surely he deserves a great band to manage.

They were married nine years and in all that time she’d brought exactly six albums into the house, and that didn’t include Nick Cave’s Murder ballads, which he’d given her for their anniversary.
But it did include the Titanic soundtrack.
Jimmy had refused to file it in the Soundtrack section.
— Why not?
— I’m giving it a section of its own, he’d said. — Utter shite.
She’d laughed.
— You’re such an eejit.
And they’d made love on the kitchen table, while Celine Dion rode the vast Atlantic.

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