The Van

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Overview

Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr. is unemployed, spending his days alone and miserable. When his best friend, Bimbo, also gets laid off, they keep by being miserable together. Things seem to look up when they buy a decrepit fish-and-chip van and go into business, selling cheap grub to the drunk and the hungry--and keeping one step ahead of the environmental health officers.

The further misadventures of the Rabbitte family in working-class Dublin--from the author of The Commitments...

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The Van

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Overview

Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr. is unemployed, spending his days alone and miserable. When his best friend, Bimbo, also gets laid off, they keep by being miserable together. Things seem to look up when they buy a decrepit fish-and-chip van and go into business, selling cheap grub to the drunk and the hungry--and keeping one step ahead of the environmental health officers.

The further misadventures of the Rabbitte family in working-class Dublin--from the author of The Commitments and The Snapper. This story follows Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr., and his best friend through Dublin, selling cheap grub to the drunk and hungry--keeping one step ahead of the health officials.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The final novel of a trilogy about the working-class Rabbitte family of Dublin (following The Commitments and The Snapper ), shortlisted for last year's Booker Prize, demonstrates a brash originality and humor that are both uniquely Irish and shrewdly universal. Jimmy Rabbitte Sr. is without a job or a raison d'etre. Then his pal Bimbo gets sacked from his bakery job and the two use Bimbo's unemployment money to buy a ramshackle fish-and-chips van. In hilarious scenes that recall the hot-dog-wagon disaster in John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces , Jimmy and Bimbo prove as determined as they are inept at making a go of their business (the vivid descriptions of unhygienically fried chips and grilled sausages could keep readers away from street food for quite a long time). In Jimmy, a likable fellow who tries to do right by his colorful and uncontrollable brood, Doyle has created an authentic hero of modern-day Ireland. That the author, a 33-year-old Dubliner, is also a vastly successful playwright will astonish no one who has read his superb dialogue. Tremendous good fun, devoid of pretension, this novel invites comparison with the best of 20th-century Irish literature. Readers who missed The Snapper first time around can find it in a forthcoming Penguin paperback. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
   • "A wonderfully funny book, that crackles and spits like fat in the fryer. It is also very touching... fine entertainment." —Daily Telegraph 

   • "The last novel of his superb triology about the Rabbitte family of North Dublin... often hilarious, always enthralling and — this really is the case — unputdownable." —Sunday Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780436200526
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/4/1997
  • Pages: 312

Meet the Author

Roddy Doyle

RODDY DOYLE was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of nine acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van, two collections of short stories, Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents, and most recently, Two Pints, a collection of dialogues. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. The Commitments was adapted into a hit film in the 1990s and is now a West End show.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2001

    great author, nice work.

    I have been reading the Van with some pleasure lately. Its a very relaxing read and has some cultural antecdotes that are very enjoyable. Very earthy real characters. The book is really great for this class of reading.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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