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The Van Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Nov 13 1995


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (Nov. 13 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860219179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860219177
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 10.4 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 150 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua on Nov. 17 2007
Format: Paperback
Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958 and saw his first novel, "The Commitments", published in 1987. It was later adapted for the big screen, a version that saw Star Trek's Colm Meaney and a very young Andrea Corr among the cast. "The Van" was first published in 1991 and is the final book in his "Barrytown Trilogy". It was also nominated for that year's Booker Prize.

The book opens in late 1989, and there have been a few changes in the Rabbite house since "The Snapper". Jimmy Jr has now moved out, and is living with his girlfriend Aoife, in Clontarf. (He took his video recorder with him, but still calls round regularly to get his washing done). Leslie, on the other hand, has disappeared - to England, Jimmy Senior suspects - having fairly consistently got himself into trouble. The remainder of the family still live at home - including Sharon and her daughter, Gina. Darren is currently studying for his Leaving Cert and should do well, while the twins are rather sneakily learning how to smoke. Veronica, the mother of the family, is taking a couple of Leaving Cert subjects at night class. Jimmy Senior, on the other hand, has lost his job - and he isn't coping too well with being unemployed.

Jimmy has, more or less, learnt to put the day in - he spends quite a bit of time in the library (he doesn't think much of Alexandre Dumas) and the pitch and putt course (his game has improved dramatically). He has, understandably, had to cut back on his time in the pub...however, he misses the company of his friends more than the beer. With his self-esteem tumbling, there's an occasional flash of anger and he even starts eying up the younger ladies. Jimmy's best friend, Bimbo, then loses his job at the bakery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sai Li on Sept. 17 2001
Format: Paperback
The Van is one of those books disguised as fiction but is actually a potboiler. The characters are unimpressive and the plot is filled with one clichéd situation after another. The third person narrative is unsuccessful because it doesn't have enough emotional impact. The lack of quotation marks makes it a very frustrating read. The prose resembles a screenplay with pages of dialogues interspersed with descriptions. The Irish dialect is tough to understand. I did start to enjoy it during the last few pages, but it wasn't worth to reread the book again. If you're interested in Irish fiction, skip this and read Dubliners by James Joyce.
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By A Well Amused Guy on Aug. 31 2001
Format: Paperback
Funny is the only word which keeps appealing to me about this novel it is so, witty and of all the books i have ever read i find this one rather amusing i never thought it would happen with a book but the language and irish humor pop up time and time again to make for superbe reading
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Format: Paperback
I had seen the screen versions of Roddy Doyle's, "The Commitments" and "The Snapper", prior to reading his written work. As I have now experienced his work in both mediums, its as funny on the page as it is on the screen. "The Van" is the last in this trilogy and it definitely focuses on the older of the generations. The movies actually enhanced the book as the actors were spectacular and the memories of their performances kept returning to mind.
The book is almost pure dialogue, and the humor will certainly leave you in pain. The issue of colorful language has been mentioned and while there is no denying its prevalence I don't believe there was any increase in this particular book. When his work is read every word is as clear as the reader's vocabulary, when on screen the accents often rendered dialogue difficult to decipher. The cadence of his writing is so well done, that even when spoken the humor works with a word or two missing, the structure implies the emotion.
Mr. Doyle also wrote, "The Woman Who Walked Into Doors", and this was the previous work of his that I had read. As a writer he has remarkable range as the previous work was dark and violent, and the humor too was black as pitch. It was not just sad it was unsettling. His ability to portray the Human Condition whether bleak or bright, or even with humor when it is all that keeps a character going, in simply brilliant.
If you have not read this man's work or seen the movies I would recommend both formats. His material is great regardless of the medium.
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