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The Deportees: and Other Stories Hardcover – January 10, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Doyle's dynamic first collection of short stories offers light and heartfelt perspectives on the effects of immigration on Irish culture. Originally serialized for a Dublin newspaper, all eight stories draw from the conceit of someone born in Ireland [who] meets someone who has come to live there. The opener, Guess Who's Coming for the Dinner, covers familiar ground—a self-proclaimed modern father is taken aback when his daughter invites a black fella to dinner—but Doyle's wry sense of humor saves the narrative from triteness. Fans of Doyle's previous work will revel in the title story, a follow-up to The Commitments that finds Jimmy Rabbitte masterminding a multicultural revival of Woody Guthrie music. The later stories find Doyle experimenting with different styles and voices: New Boy charts an unlikely friendship between a nine-year-old African immigrant and two small, angry Irish boys, while Black Hoodie finds a timid, indifferent teenager discovering his passion for civil rights and a Nigerian girl. There are some abrupt endings that veer toward the convenient, though this may be an unavoidable consequence of their serial origins. Doyle's immense talent as a writer is neatly showcased throughout, and his sharp wit adds a richness to every tale. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Roddy Doyle, celebrated chronicler of the Irish working class and winner of the 1993 Man Booker Prize (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), turns his attention to the immigrant experience in his first collection of short stories. The stories collected here first appeared in 800-word installments in the Dublin weekly newspaper Metro Eireann, which was founded in 2000 by two Nigerian journalists. Critics agreed that The Deportees is vintage Doyle, demonstrating his sharp wit, lively sense of humor, richly drawn characters, and ear for dialogue. They cited some problems related to the space limitations of serial publications, which result in stories that "are generally instantly engaging but not always carefully constructed" (Christian Science Monitor), but these problems were easy to ignore given Doyle’s extraordinary storytelling abilities. As in any collection, critics disagreed about which stories succeed best. By turns poignant and chilling, heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, Doyle’s stories are as affecting as his novels.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (January 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670018457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670018451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roddy Doyle is the author of eight novels, a collection of stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir of his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. He lives and works in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The thing I like about Roddy Doyle's books is that they are all so different fron one another. The first one I read was "A Star Called Henry" and since then I have read all his others,and look for each new one he writes.
As with many writers,a reader will like some better than others. I am not a big reader of short stories ,because they usually leave me wanting more. This is the case of each of the 8 stories in this collection. It seems that just as the story gets interesting;it ends.
Otherwise,as one can expect from Doyle ;the writing and writing style always engrosses one,and once again we get the same in this collection.
The copy I have is the hard cover edition with the picture of the members of the new band "The Deportees". I am really impressed with this and I have commented in other reviews that I thought it would be a great addition to many books if pictures of the characters involved in the story could be included in the book or on the cover.This idea is even workable in the case of fictional characters as has so aptly been done in this case. It was great as we were introduced to each band member,to turn to the cover and find them there. The big question remains;did Doyle describe the characters to "fit " the photos or did they find people to "fit" Doyle's characters,or were they all real?? Anyway;congratulations !!

Ich am of Irlonde
Ant of the holy lande
Of Irlonde.
Gode sire,pray ich the,
For of saynte charite,
Come ant dance wyth me
In Irlonde.
"Ich Am of Irlonde" [14th century]
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Format: Hardcover
These short stories were written for publication in a relatively new Dublin paper that is aimed at a non-traditional readership - those persons who have recently emigrated from Africa and other non-Irish cultures. The eight stories involve interaction between the traditional Irish and recent arrivals to the Emerald Isle. The stories are presented in the dialogue form, liberally sprinkled with the profanity that Doyle does so well.

Most of the stories are interesting. The dialogue moves you quickly through the book. You meet unusual characters: the Polish nanny who frightens her young charges with horror stories, and the young man who developed a test to measure Irishness - the average Irishman scores 57%. But one must wonder about the wisdom of publishing a collection of short stories, all of which have the same limited scope. Moreover, some of the stories are knock-offs of tales that we all know. The first story, "Guess Who's Coming for the Dinner?" is almost identical to the old Sidney Poitier movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" The title story, "The Deportees," is a rework of Doyle's very successful movie, "The Commitments" - this time with people of color. It's déjà vu, all over again.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of Doyle's early work, this collection of short stories revisits the style and tone of such works as The Commitments (which is revisited to some degree), The Snapper and The Van, the ever solid Barrytown Trilogy. The tone is generally lighter and more enjoyable than more recent works such as Paula Spencer and The Woman who Walked into Doors, capturing all the lightheartedness and humor and pathos that makes those tales so powerfully human, endearing and enduring while giving us some new characters and a revisit to some of the old, once again capturing the complexity of evolving Irish society, history and the ordinary yet extraordinary people that inhabit all of the world.
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Format: Hardcover
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. Doyle went on to win the Booker Prize in 1993 with "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha".

Doyle begins the book with a short foreword, noting the changes he's seen in Dublin (and in the Irish) since the early 1990s. "It happened", he says, "somewhere in the mid-90s. I went to bed in one country and woke up in a different one." Having once been a country that exported its people, it now had a healthy immigrant population of its own. "The Deportees" is a collection of short stories - all of which first appeared in Metro Eireann - that takes this change as its central theme.

The book's highlight, for me, was its "title track". As well as being the book's longest story, it also features a familiar face : Jimmy Rabbite, the ex-manager of The Commitments. Jimmy's now 36, is married to Aoife and has three kids - with a fourth on the way. He's still mad about music, hates the Corrs - presumably on a musical level only - and answers to the name `Slim Shady'. The story sees him deciding to put a band together, with the members picked from Dublin 's immigrant community. (It'd have been great to find out how Jimmy's brothers and sisters were doing, and if Larrygogan was still alive. The only ex-Commitment who makes an appearance is Mikah Wallace, now quite possibly the world's grubbiest born-again Christian).

Of the remainder, there are two I'd give the nod to - although the others are by no means disappointing. `New Boy' follows Joseph's first day at school in Ireland. Unfortunately, he's sitting in front of Christian Kelly, the class nuisance.
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