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             Guest For TUESDAY NOVEMBER 15 2005



                           RODDY  DOYLE









                         "Oh, Play That Thing"

                Oh, Play That Thing - Roddy Doyle - Penguin Group (USA)




Roddy Doyle


Roddy Doyle was born in 1958.  He attended St. Fintan's Christian Brothers School in Sutton and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and continued his education at University College, Dublin.  He worked for fourteen years as an English and Geography teacher at Greendale Community School, in Kilbarrack,  North Dublin.  Since 1993 he has been dedicated to writing full-time.  He is married to Belinda and has two sons, Rory and Jack.

"Roddy Doyle achieved widespread recognition when his novel The Commitments (1987) was made into a motion picture in 1991.  Doyle's novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha won the Booker Prize, Britain's highest literary award in 1993. This novel established Doyle as a leading comic writer, earning comparisons to Irish humorists such as Sean O'Casey and Brendan Behan" (Encarta).  Roddy Doyle is intensely private.  Those who know him describe the man as modest and unassuming.  He goes to great lengths to protect his privacy and has stated a preference for the quiet family life.  He hopes that his celebrity will not alienate him from his relationship with the North Dublin suburbs that have provided the inspiration for his body of work.

He is a modest writer and always has time to help out his writer friends whenever he can--whether with advice or publications. He has been a book lover from a very young age and still holds a strong passion for books and reading. His outlook on writing is, "If writers want to write, they want to write, and they should be left alone, I am no mentor and I don't think I'd be doing anyone any favours if I said,--come on, lets do it this way--we'll leave the cloning to the sheep" (Cullen).


Roddy Doyle writes rowdy novels, rooted in working-class experience.  "Doyle's early novels rely very heavily on pure scene, in which dialogue rather than inner thoughts dominates" (Keen). His first three novels, known as the Barrytown trilogy, focused on the Rabbittes, a family of eight whose lives are a mixture of "high comedy, depressing poverty and domestic chaos" (Turbide).  As Keen notes, "The Booker Prize-winning novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha explores with remarkable subtlety the development of a small boy's interiority and empathy, as he simultaneously masters language and discovers a new understanding of pain." The novel is the most commercially successful Booker winner to date and is now available in nineteen languages. Any translator would have a daunting job with Doyle's work, though. Written almost entirely in dialogue, his books are full of "hilarious slang, colloquialisms, vulgarisms and cursing that is so vibrant and charged that it is almost musical" (Turbide). In the past, Doyle's raw portrayal of working-class Ireland has received as much censure as praise in his native country. "I've been criticized for the bad language in my books--that I've given a bad image of the country," said Doyle. "There's always a subtle pressure to present a good image, and it's always somebody else's definition of what is good" (Turbide).  The author's own view is that his job is simply to describe things and people as they really are.  In Doyle's world, the lives are tough, and the language is rough, but beauty and tenderness survive amid the bleakness.

Publications and Movie Credits


The Commitments, 1987.

The Snapper, 1990.

The Van, 1991.

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, 1991.

The Barrytown Trilogy (The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van), 1992.

Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha, 1993.

Winner of the Booker Prize, 1993.

The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, 1996.


War, 1989.

Brownbread, 1993.


Barrytown Trilogy
The Commitments (1991)
R. Comedy, Drama, Music. 117 minutes.
(Content provided by Reel.com)

Cast & Credits
Starring Andrew Strong, Bronagh Gallagher, Angeline Ball, Colm
Meaney, Dave Finnegan
Directed by Alan Parker (http://us.imdb.com/Name?Parker,+Alan)
Written by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Roddy Doyle

Synopsis: A young working-class man in Dublin organizes a band. His goal is to perform
soul-music as perfected in the 60s.

Awards & Honors
British Academy of Film and TV Arts
  Adapted Screenplay
  Director: Alan Parker

The Snapper (1993) 
R. Comedy, Drama. 90 minutes.
Cast & Credits
Starring Tina Kellegher, Colm Meaney, Brendan Gleeson, Ciara Duffy,
Colm O'Byrne
Directed by Stephen Frears (http://us.imdb.com/M/person-exact?Stephen+Frears)
Written by Roddy Doyle

Synopsis: The warm relationship between an Irish father and his eldest daughter is tested
when she becomes pregnant. The family stands by the girl and unites against the local gossip surrounding the baby's father.

The Van (1997) 
R. Comedy. 105 minutes.
Cast & Credits
Starring Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly, Brendan O'Carroll, Caroline
Rothwell, Ger Ryan
Directed by Stephen Frears
Written by Roddy Doyle

Synopsis: Two middle-aged men, laid off from their jobs and living on welfare, refurbish a disgusting old fast-food van. The attempt to get rich selling fish and chips puts a strain on their friendship.

Works Cited

Cullen, Linda. "Roddy Doyle." (1997). Online.

Encarta Concise Encyclopedia Article. "Doyle, Roddy." (1999). Online.

Foran, Charles. "The Troubles of Roddy Doyle." Saturday Night 111.3 (April 1996): 58-64.

Keen, Suzanne. "Irish Troubles." Commonweal 123.17 (1996): 21-23.

Turbide, Diane. "Dublin Soul." Maclean's 106.35 (1993): 50.


Author: Andrew Keiler, Spring 1999

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(Image of an "Homme Carrefour" from Donald J. Cosentino's Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou [Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995].)


Tuesday November 15, 2005

 /  10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

Channel 34 of the Time/Warner &Channel 107 of the RCN 
Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at the time of cable casting at: 


NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time & click on channel 34 at site

                                    241 West 36th StreetNew York,N.Y. 10018 Phone: 212-695-6351 E-Mail: HHC@NYC.RR.COM


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