The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle - review by Matt Thorne

Matt Thorne

57% Irish

The Deportees and Other Stories


Jonathan Cape 242pp £16.99

After the disappointment of last year’s Paula Spencer, Roddy Doyle’s unnecessary sequel to The Woman Who Walked Into Walls, it hardly gladdens the heart to discover that his new book, The Deportees (a collection of short stories initially written in 800-word chunks for an Irish-based multicultural newspaper), includes a sequel to his 1987 debut, The Commitments. Although there are many famous examples of successful serialised fiction, most recent examples (Ronan Bennett’s Zugzwang) haven’t worked, as few modern authors share Dickens’s storytelling skill. 

Doyle explains in a foreword that he wrote each segment without knowing what would happen next, and that he loved the ‘monthly terror’ that ensued. He claims that this process inspired him in pleasing ways, but considering that the example he gives was coming up with the title ‘Guess Who’s

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