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the rabbittes

Here's why we'll all be reading (and watching) The Commitments next year

And The Snapper, and The Van…

Keith McDonnell / YouTube

HANDS UP IF you’ve seen The Snapper. What about The Van? Or The Commitments?

If you haven’t seen at least one of those, get yourself to a DVD player immediately.

The hilarious comedies (and social commentary) about the unforgettable Rabbitte family in Dublin are Irish classics – and now the books they’re based on by Roddy Doyle are due to see a resurgence in popularity.

That’s because the Barrytown Trilogy (which comprises The Snapper, The Van and the Commitments, Doyle’s first three books) has been chosen as the Dublin: One City, One Book choice for 2015.

Dublin City Librarian Margaret Hayes said that Dublin: One City One Book is about bringing Dublin’s literature to a wider audience, so “the Barrytown Trilogy is sure to help us to build on the incredible success the initiative has enjoyed”.

We can also look forward to Dublin City Public Libraries’ festival programme in April 2015, which will include music, film and public readings related to the books.

In case you’d forgotten:

  • The Commitments (1987) charts the rise (and even fall) of Jimmy Rabbitte’s soul band and their bid for stardom in 1980s Dublin.
  • The Snapper (1990) centres on the speculation around Sharon Rabbitte’s pregnancy. (In the film, she’s called Sharon Curley)
  • The Van (1991) follows Jimmy Rabbitte Senior and his pal Bimbo as they attempt to cash in on Ireland’s legendary adventures at the 1990 World Cup.

Roddy Doyle said:

When I wrote the books that make up The Barrytown Trilogy I hoped that the city would come up off the page, like a character. When the characters spoke, Dublin spoke. So, 28 years after I started writing the novels that make up the trilogy, I’m delighted – and proud – that it will be the Dublin: One City, One Book choice for 2015.

The choice of The Barrytown Trilogy follows the 2014 choice, If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song, which became one of Ireland’s best-selling poetry books ever.

The aim of Dublin: One City One Book Festival is to encourage everyone to read a book connected with Dublin during the month of April. It’s led by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service as part of its UNESCO City of Literature designation and is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Will you be reading the Barrytown trilogy?

Poll Results:

Yes, even though I've read it before (1149)
No (730)
Yes (673)
I'm not sure (236)

Read: Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2014 is revealed…>

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