More power to Roddy Doyle’s elbow: Two More Pints

Review: – The writer with the baldy head’s only done it again. – What are yeh talkin’ about?– He’s written another book about us. – Is it any good?– It’d have you in stitches

Marking the publication of his new novel 'Brilliant', Roddy Doyle talks about what it means to be Irish, the best thing about growing old and his dream dinner party guests. Video: Daniel O' Connor

– Did yeh see it?

– Wha’?

– He’s only done it again.

– Who has? What are yeh talkin’ about?


– Yer man. The writer with the baldy head.

– You’ll have to narrow it down.

– Yer man Doyle. The Commitments. The Booker prize. All o' tha' shite.

– What’s he done?

– He’s written another book. About us.

– He’s wha’?

– Yeh heard me.

– About us?

– Yeh.

– Fuck off.

– Sure he did it before. Two years ago, do yeh not remember? Two Pints, he called it.

– Was it any good?

– It was a laugh. Another baldy writer gave it a write-up in The Irish Times.

– I never read tha’. They don’t pay enough attention to the ballet.

– Fuck off.

– I'm not jokin'. I'm mad for a pas de bourrée.

– Yer missin’ the point.

– What point?

– That he’s written about us again. He must have one of them bugs in the bar. He’s listening in to all our conversations and writin’ them down.

– Sure what do we have to say of any consequence?

– Are you jokin’ me? I’m a philosopher.

– You are on yer hole.

– He starts near the end of 2012. Back when yer one got her tits out in the papers.

– Which one? Did I see that? D’you have a copy?

– Kate Middleton.

– Who’s she?

– Ah, fuck off. You know well who she is. I said that I have bigger tits than she does.

– You do too.

– You’re no one to talk.

– And what else does he say?

– Well he makes me sound like a miserable c***. I just talk about dead people all the time. Patrick Moore. The Andrews Sisters. Maggie Thatcher.

– I remember you were very upset about Tony Soprano going. And Mandela. And Shirley Temple.

– Elmore Leonard.

– Peter O’Toole.

– Stephen Ireland’s granny.

– Sure she’s always fuckin’ dyin’. You could write seven books about that. Like yer one did.

– Which one?

– Yer one with the wizard.

– Rowling.

– Yeh, her. She could write seven books about Stephen Ireland’s granny dyin’. Buy another house for herself.

– And why would she do that? Hasn’t yer man Doyle beaten her to it?

– What’s his thing with death, do y’think?

– I haven’t a clue.

– I read that last book of his, The Insides.

The Guts.

– That was all about a fella thinkin’ he was dyin’ too.

– It’s mortality, isn’t it? It’s like the walls of the bogs. We all come up against it at some point in our lives.

– So what else does he talk about?

– It’s what we talk abou’ tha’ matters. All the news o’ the day. Jimmy Savile and tha’. And there was the horse burgers. We got great mileage out o’ the horse burgers.

– Do yer think Stephen Ireland’s granny ate one o’ them?

– Fuck off. She’s still alive. She’ll never die.

– He likes his football too, doesn’t he, yer man Doyle?

– No, he’s a Chelsea fan.

– Fuck off.

– He says that I said I’d never drink again if Mourinho came back. Did I say tha’?

– You said it to God.

– Well he hasn’t got back to me on it. And he has a few things to say about Fergie too. And yer man, Moyes. And Beckham and Spice Rack.

– Brooklyn.

– No, David. Brooklyn’s the little lad.

– No, I mean I read Brooklyn. The missus had it by the side of the bed for months. He wrote tha', didn't he?

– No, that was the other baldy writer.

– Are they all baldy?

– Bertie’s daughter’s got a fine head o’ hair.

– Is Bertie in the book?

– Everyone is. Pope Benedict.

– You said he was gay.

– That’s what the missus told me.

– Anyone else?

– All the Anglo lads. Trap’s girl. Rollin’ her eyes when Trap thinks he’s runnin’ the Icelandic team.

– I miss her.

– Sure we all miss her.

– Does he talk about when you fell in love with the bird from the IMF?

– Fuck off.

– Is it all jokes but?

– If yer think a fella from the Bank of Ireland comin’ up to a lad in the chipper and sayin’ he can’t have the onion rings until he pays off a bit o’ the mortgage is a joke, then yeh.

– Did tha’ happen?

– That’s what I heard.

– And all o’ this is in the book, is it?

– Yeh.

– And no one else? Just the two of us?

– Yeh.

– And is it any good?

– It’d have you in stitches.

– So will we get somethin’ out o’ it, d’yer think?

– What are you talkin’ about?

– Royalties. From the book sales. And the, what do yer call them, the ebooks.

– We won’t see a thing. Yer man Doyle will take it all.

– And buy a season ticket for Chelsea, I suppose.

Two More Pints by Roddy Doyle is published by Jonathan Cape, 115pp, £7.99.

John Boyne's latest book is A History of Loneliness (Doubleday)

John Boyne

John Boyne

John Boyne, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a novelist and critic