Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Book Review: The Commitments

The Commitments

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

Category: Fiction

Synopsis: The Commitments tells the story of a group of working class individuals in North Dublin who form a soul band.

My Thoughts: This was a quick read but not really an easy one.

Most of the book is written in dialogue. Dialogue in dialect. I don’t mind a bit of dialect (It helps to distinguish characters sometimes) but when ALL the characters speak the same dialect it just becomes difficult to read and really quite annoying.

I read this book for school in conjunction with our class on Marxist critique of writing and this did actually make me like the book a bit more. We discussed the fact that the lack of distinguishing features of the band members enhances the sense of alienation, they are just a cog in the machinery. I still don’t like the device but I do understand it a bit more.

Short books are good. Except when they don’t lead to any character development at all. The book basically tells the story of a band that is formed and fall apart. Interesting. Except several of the pages are song lyrics in caps lock font. This simply leads to there being no story what so ever. I was just bored the whole time.

This wasn’t a book for me (again) but it did lead to some interesting discussions in class. I wouldn’t have minded discussing this a bit more but we had some technical issues today.

The movie based on the book is great. Highly recommend it!

Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North.clip_image001This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Aarti said...

After finishing The Wee Free Men, I've decided that Terry Pratchett is the only author who can do dialect that I enjoy :-) Maybe because he makes it funny, so I feel it's worth the struggle to figure out what is being said? I also struggle with dialogue heavy books, so I feel for you.

I hope you get to read what you WANT to read some time soon!

Zee said...

I am actually right now reading a book I want to read, Anne of Avonlea and thank heavens I only have one school book left this semester and then I am free to read for me again :D

I hadn't actually really thought about Pratchett doing a lot of dialect, I suppose I don't mind it in his either. I don't normally mind when one or two characters speak in dialect because it highlights them as individuals, it is when the whole book is written in the style I get frustrated.