The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

The Commitments - Roddy Doyle

The stage show of The Commitments was at my local theatre, but I couldn’t get a ticket as every performance was sold out, which got me thinking about the book. I’d always heard it was good and I love short books (it’s only 144 pages), plus it’s set in Ireland and I’m Irish. How could I not read it?


So, the Commitments is about a group of young men that want to form a band. They talk to their friend Jimmy (who ends up as their manager) about what band they should form and he says that Dublin needs a soul band, hence the Commitments are born.

They recruit an older man, Joey ‘The Lips’ Fagan who coaches them about what a soul band should be, as informed by his ‘extensive’ experience. He provides a lot of laughs and was one of the best characters in the story.


The guys take on three woman, who are known as the Commitmentettes (Ioved that name!), to do backing vocals and from then the reader follows the band as they rehearse and take their show live.


The best part of the book was the interaction between the characters and the general fun I had reading about them trying to get the band going.


There was a heavy focus on music which I loved, but sometimes it didn’t translate well to the written form. I felt I was missing out when I didn’t know a song. I would definitely recommend it, though, as this was the only problem in a book that was a lot of fun. Also, I watched the film right after I finished and I would highly recommend this, too. So much fun.