Roddy is 'famous' for writing THE COMMITMENTS (book/movie). His intro is not in the American (Ecco/BSP) editions but the british paperback (cannongate books). I haven't re-read his intro in awhile, but it didn't strike me as being overly memorable...(obviously, since I've forgotten it).
It does however have a nice cover...
I like him a lot. He wrote a fact/fiction account of the birth of the IRA titled "A Star Called Henry" which was really great. Also, a story about a woman with a drunken Irish husband who would kick the shit out of her on a regular basis called "The Woman Who Walked Into Doors." His works are likened to contemporary English writer Nick Hornby.
Nobody said any harm was done, I just critiqued it (i.e. didn't like it). Bukowski writing about AD Winans, Douglas Goodwin, Mazarek, Locklin, Fante, etc... I understand, I get. The Roddy/Buk connection I don't get... On second thought; who really cares!?
No real harm done.
Haven't read the cannongate intro either but can highly recommend "Paddy Clarke, ha, ha, ha" by Doyle. It's mad and brilliant. One connection between Doyle and Bukowskit might be Doyle's understanding of growing up poor in Ireland and feeling like the whole world is against him.
(I was repsonding to Ninjerk comment that Doyle wanted to suck his own dick because he wrote an intro to bukowski book) ((I really shout use the quote button more effectively...the fault is mine entirely...))
I knew what you were responding to, I don't understand your response. What does someone wanting to suck their own dick (which I take as Ninjerk's way of saying he thinks Roddy Doyle's intro sounds like it was written by someone very full of himself) have to do with "suddenly jumping on the band wagon"?
From what I've seen most introductions are congradulations/praise for the particular work of an author (generally discussing the merits of the book as Doyle did and defining what the/an author did for a genre or literature as a whole), and nothing more. It appears to me that Doyle wrote the introduction to ride the surgence of Bukowski popularity as a supposed equal. He plugs himself and isn't even subtle about it. THAT is why I think he is a narcissistic twit (although not having read anything he has written I can't say he's anything short of what he'd like us to believe), NOT in the fact that he wrote the introduction but in his execution. Maybe we feel different about book introductions, Olaf and I.
In fact this part of the introduction interested me most:
Then I read Women(1978). The women in Bukowski's books are mean and devious, sex-mad and lazy, just like the men. They are often just parts of the body. Betty, Hank's girlfriend, or 'shackjob', in Post Office, is 'nice legs' and 'that ass' until Page 50 when we're given her name. The first attempt at a full description comes even later: 'Betty had gotten old, fast. Heavier. The lines had come in. Flesh hung under the throat. It was sad. But I had gotten old too.' Less than twenty pages later, she's dying: 'Yellow spittle had caked at the left corner of her mouth. I took the cloth and washed it away. I cleaned her face, hands and throat.' It isn't pleasant but it's good. Hank notes the signs of age under Betty's throat and feels sorry for himself, then washes the same throat as she dies. It's a scrambling mix of selfishness and tenderness, brutality and the blackest humour that makes one want to fling the book away but is, at the same time, very, very compelling. But Women didn't have the mix. The tenderness, what there was of it, was gone. What was left was just a list of ugly encounters. It was boring, and I read no more Bukowski for a long time.
Roddy Doyle didn't grow up poor. He was a middle class teacher in a school of a working class area of Dublin for years and picked up on the Colloquialisms his students used in the classroom. He based most of his novels around the theme of 'god love them, they're poor but sure aren't they great craic (Irish for fun) altogether'. I thought it was a bizarre decision to have him write the foreword and just a cynical move to push more sales as Doyle is quite big in Europe but he'll always just be a cartoonist to me.