Love, Roddy Doyle

September 23, 2020


You should never judge a book by it’s cover, but your expectations going into this one might be very different depending on whether you’ve seen the UK or US one. 


The British version features a woman’s face, and this novel is ostensibly about a woman. Two late-middle-aged men pub crawl around Dublin as one tells the other the story of how he’s left his wife for a girl they both loved-at-first-sight in their youths. In reality, the love that actually comes through is a love for Irish speech, and pubs, and the men for each other. 


The American cover is a picture of a pint, and is styled to look like a continuation of Roddy Doyle’s Two Pints series, which is probably a better angle to come from. Love is also written almost entirely in  — simply brilliant — dialogue. 


It’s astute, and sensitive and funny, but in all honestly also frustrating and a little boring. As one character constantly hectors the other to get on with the story, you kinda wish he would.

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