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Meet the Rabbitte family, motley bunch of loveable ne'er-do-wells whose everyday purgatory is rich with hangovers, dogshit and dirty dishes. When the older sister announces her pregnancy, the family are forced to rally together and discover the strangeness of intimacy. But the question remains: which friend of the family is the father of Sharon's child?

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749391256
ISBN-10: 0749391251
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 6-Jun-1991
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A warm, frank, and very funny account of family life and pregnancy as Irish writer Doyle (The Commitments, 1989; also see below) continues the saga of the endearing working-class Rabbitte family of Barrytown, Dublin. A playwright as well as novelist, Doyle tells the story of 19-year-old Sharon Rabbitte's surprise pregnancy almost entirely in dialogue. In less gifted hands, the experience would be claustrophobic, but with Doyle the reader becomes the undetected fly on the wall able to relish the unguarded talk as Sharon plucks up courage to relay the news first to her mom and dad (Veronica and Jimmy, Sr.) and her siblings, and then to the toughest group - her girlfriends - who, ribald and skeptical, want to know everything. But Sharon isn't telling who the father of her "snapper" is, which naturally fuels speculation, especially when the father of one of her friends insists he's responsible. Sharon tries to deflect the gossip by claiming that while drunk she'd been seduced by a nameless Spanish sailor, "but she knew this as well: everyone would prefer to believe that she'd got off with Mr. Burgess. It was a bigger piece of scandal and better gas." For a while, Jimmy, Sr., feels his friends at the pub are laughing at him, and he blames Sharon; but Jimmy, a wonderfully complex and good man, realizes he's being unfair and, to make up, concentrates on Sharon's pregnancy in earnest. From library books, he learns as much about sex as pregnancy - information that he shares with his pub pals while keeping close tabs on Sharon's condition: "She was getting really tired of her dad; all his questions - he was becoming a right pain in the neck." There are the usual ups and downs of family life, but when Sharon sees her baby "and about as Spanish-looking as - she didn't care. She was gorgeous. And hers." Life and pregnancy as it really is: scatological, unsentimental, and, in spite of it all, with lots to laugh at. Not a false note anywhere. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of nine acclaimed novels, one collection of short stories and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His last book, The Dead Republic, was the final volume in the Henry Smart trilogy.

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