If you are a fan of Doyle’s Two Pints series, then you’ll probably really enjoy Love and so might be better off avoiding this review!
In Love, we are privy to the conversation between old friends Davy and Joe, taking place on a summer’s evening in Dublin. Joe lives in Dublin while Davy left years ago to settle in the UK.
Buddies since their teenage years, the men no longer see each other regularly and this evening, the conversation focuses on Joe’s recent affair and the subsequent breakup of his marriage.
Throughout the course of a meal and plenty of drinks, the pals trip down memory lane, sometimes together, sometimes in their own minds. Joe’s new partner is someone the lads met back in their twenties and it’s clear Davy still harbours some resentment as while both admired Jessica, Joe was the one she picked.
The pair chat and bicker a little while each privately contemplates the successes and failures in their own love life. No major action takes place in the here and now until the last 50 pages. Suddenly, Davy divulges that he has actually been back in town for 4 months to take care of his dying father. The pair end up getting a taxi to the hospice and together, sit at Davy’s father’s side as he passes away.
As always, Doyle does Dublin really well. You can feel the warmth he has for his birthplace on every page. However, I found the predominantly conversational style of writing jarring, and the impact of the twist was dulled for me because I didn’t feel invested in Davy’s character.
While I enjoyed The Barrytown Trilogy, I haven’t had any luck with more recent titles from Roddy Doyle. And I’m afraid Love didn’t change that streak for me.