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Is This Book Worth Getting?

A no-frills guide to new books by writers who’ve won big awards in the past.

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The Deportees and Other Stories
By Roddy Doyle, Viking; $24.95
Doyle is best known for his first book, The Commitments, though his Booker Prize moment came in 1993, for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. As he notes in his introduction, Ireland has vastly changed since those books were written, going from one of Western Europe’s poorest countries to one of its richest, bolstered by a huge immigrant workforce. These stories, serialized in thin slices for a Dublin newspaper, are all about the spots where old and new Ireland meet. As a result, they’re rather petite pop observations, packed with playful and funny language. They’re also strongly plotted, with tidy endings, and aren’t the sort of thing that’ll win him more literary prizes. They are not so much in the Joycean tradition as that of O. Henry. In short: Feckin’ good read.
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