Roddy Doyle has earned a devoted following for his wry wit, his uncanny ear, and his ability to fully capture the hearts of his characters. Bullfighting, his second collection of stories, offers a series of bittersweet takes on men and middle age, revealing a panorama of Ireland today. Moving from classrooms to local pubs to bullrings, these tales feature an array of men taking stock and reliving past glories, each concerned with loss in different ways--of their place in their world, of their power, virility, health, and love. "Recuperation" follows a man as he sets off on his daily prescribed walk around his neighborhood, the sights triggering recollections of his family and his younger days. In "Animals," George recalls caring for his children's many pets and his heartfelt efforts to spare them grief when they died or disappeared. The title story captures the mixture of bravado and helplessness of four friends who go off to Spain on holiday.
Sharply observed, funny, and moving, these 13 stories present a new vision of contemporary Ireland, of its woes and triumphs, and of middle-aged men trying to break out of the routines of their lives.
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A Bittersweet Comedy!
- Matthew S. Hill