In Roddy Doyle's hands, everyday conversation flows like music. The pages of A Greyhound of a Girl
are alive and crisp with dialog. Perhaps eighty percent of the story is told through the communication between generations - from mother to child, grandmother to granddaughter - and the lines of speech develop a unique harmony and rhythm as phrases are repeated and passed back and forth. For example in the following scene, twelve year-old Mary tells her mother about her plans to become a famous chef:
"Great idea!" said her mother.
"Stop talking like that," said Mary.
"Oh, no!" said her mother, whose name was Scarlett. "I don't talk like that! Do I?!"
"Yes, you do."
"I'm sorry!" Scarlett whispered.
"Even your whispers end in !!!s,"...
Beyond the Book
Born in 1958 in Dublin, Roddy Doyle is a prolific Irish writer who has found over two decades-worth of material in the humorous, tender, and fraught life of the family. Americans may be most familiar with Doyle's wise-cracking dialog and its lilting Dublin intonations from the popular film adaptations of his Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments
(1987), see trailer below; The Snapper
(1990); and The Van
(1991). The three stories center around one middle-class Dublin family and their enterprises - a soul band, a teen pregnancy, a fish-and-chips van.