Tuesday 8 November 2022



Synopsis/blurb ...

Jimmy Rabbitte hates jazz, always has. But his wife Aiofe loves it, and Jimmy loves Aiofe. So when, in attempt to convert him, she buys him two tickets for a Keith Jarrett concert he decides to take Outspan, former member of Jimmy's band The Commitments, who has come back into his life after a chance meeting in the cancer clinic. Jarrett is famous for being intolerant of any noise at all - a cough, a sneeze, a wheeze - from the audience, stopping playing and shaming the perpetrator. And Outspan's diagnosis is lung cancer, it's pretty bad, and he needs an oxygen cylinder to breathe properly.

Will Outspan create havoc? Will Jimmy learn to love jazz at last?

Late 80s, early 90s Roddy Doyle was on a growing list of authors whose latest books I just had to have. I had more than a few laughs reading The Van, The Commitments, The Snapper. Like a lot of authors I fell away from his work, choosing to follow newer kids on the block and having my head turned this way and that. Enough affection for the author and his books remained that they survived several culls of the collection over the past thirty years, in the optimistic hope that I'd re-read them one day.

Moving on, the next best thing I suppose is that I read a short offering that I picked up about 9 years ago for my kindle.

Family, friendship, ill health, sacrifice, jazz, the things you endure for love and a few smirks and chuckles - always to be welcomed on a rainy autumn morning before heading off to work.

Really enjoyable, a real mood lifter and a timely reminder of how much his work resonates with me. I love the Dublin vibe, the people, the setting, the chat, the cussing, the banter and the attitude. 

4.5 from 5    

I'll be trawling the collection soon, looking for something else by Doyle.

Read - November, 2022

Published - 2013

Page count - 22

Source - purchased copy (probably for ZERO pence)

Format - Kindle


  1. Van is a great novel. Commitments is a great movie. Earlier this year I read Doyle’s collection of pandemic stories, but was underwhelmed.

    1. Elgin, I'll take your word for it. His older stuff still appeals to me and a re-read might be on the cards at some point.