The Guts
The Guts A Barrytown Novel By Doyle, Roddy Book - 2013

It takes a bit of determination to stay with the book after the first few pages. If the profanities in every other sentence don't get you, the rapid play-like dialogue without much of the syntactic adornments will. But like wading into cold ocean water or going into a very hot sauna, one gets acclimatized after the initial aversion to discover a gem of a novel. One with wit and charm in the story of a family coping with the protagonist's cancer diagnosis and treatment in the aftermath of the financial crisis that hit Ireland hard. No cheap tricks like self-destructive characters or dysfunctional families that plague American authors to create drama. Not a Hallmark card family either. Real, warm and refreshing. The sparse formatting for the dialogue actually helps in better absorbing the staccato exchanges between characters that forms the majority of the content of the book. While the ending may seem uplifting, one is disappointed with the author reverting back to the formulaic appeal of music bands being appreciated as the finale like in his earlier book - The Commitments. Along with the overly long lead-up to it, it detracts from the earlier portrayal of the characters and their interactions in a witty and warm manner that makes the book worth reading. Recommended if gratuitous profanities throughout the book don't bother you.

gvenkatesh's rating:
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