The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
Barrytown, Dublin, has something to sing about. The Commitments are spreading the gospel of the soul. Ably managed by Jimmy Rabitte, brilliantly coached by Joel ‘The Lips’ Fagan, their twin assault on Motown and Barrytown takes them by leaps and bounds from Paris Hall to immortality on vinyl. But can The Commitments live up to their name?
In my continued efforts to combat the fact I was raised in a household where the only musicians I was aware of were Alan Menken, Yann Tiersen, Billy Joel, and ABBA, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to learn about new music, hence my interest in this AV Club post, “17 Essential Books About Popular Music“. Most are nonfiction, as you can imagine, but the last entry on the list is The Commitments. Let’s face it: there’s something inherently funny and sweet about a white soul band from Dublin.
C.B. at Ready When You Are, CB thoroughly enjoyed it, laughing all the way. Kate at What Kate’s Reading found it a fast and funny read. Esteemed rock critic Robert Christgau’s spoiler-ridden review finds the novel to be “deadly, just deadly“.
The Commitments was published in 1987.