Monday, January 03, 2011

Not Just Any Book (for Christmas)

Doyle, Roddy. Not Just for Christmas. Dublin: Cox and Wyman, 1999.

The version of this book I read is part of a new collection of texts designed to make excellent literature more available and accessible for new readers. I've not read what I perceive as the 'full' version of the book. Without a peek at the cover and title page, I might not have pegged this book as a work by Doyle, so I may read the 'full' version (if available at our local library) to see whether it fits more with my expectations.

I believe this edition of Not Just for Christmas accomplishes its stated intent. The story has two timelines: the entire narrative is conveyed over drinks in a pub, where brothers Danny and Jimmy (Jim) meet after many years apart. As they awkwardly catch up (and loosen up) over a few pints, the brothers recollect both the portions of their lives that have passed since Danny left his hometown and the occasionally divisive events of their shared childhoods. Pleasantries are exchanged, and they argue over the details and intentions of long-ago incidents.

I enjoyed this volume very much, but would like to read the full version in future to compare the two.

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