By Karl MacDermott
IRISH TIMES BOOKS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2021 'the story of a sit-down nobody who tries stand-up comedy'
Meet Roddy Bodkin. Age 43. He has recently lost his job. His long-term girlfriend is tiring of him. He feels he is getting old and life is passing him by. Can things get any worse? Oh boy. Definitely. Yes. Because he now wants to try his hand at becoming a stand-up comedian.
Set in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, 58% Cabbage chronicles the hapless adventures of a middle-aged Everyman as he grapples with both a sense of loss and a loss of sense while attempting to pursue his comedy dreams.
Calamity and hilarity accompany Roddy Bodkin on his odyssey through funerals, sex, friendship, part-time employment, memory, bad TV, family and Ireland.
His most recent book, Juggling With Turnips, published by Eyewear Publishing in 2018, was a success with both readers and critics, described ‘as a very funny book’ by The Sunday Independent and having 'gloriously comic moments' by The Irish Examiner. He is currently writer-in-residence at his home in Dublin.
Karl MacDermott, writer-in-residence in his own home, here casts a wry but sympathetic novelistic eye on family relationships, sex, friendship, job insecurity and Irish funerals. Roddy Bodkin, a 43-year-old loser fired from his job at Walking Tours Galway for telling cock-and-bull stories such as that the Modh Coinníollachs were a barbaric medieval Irish tribe, believes he can carve out a career in stand-up comedy. He attends a comedy workshop with a “forthright farmer, scribbler poet” friend who’s convinced there’s a sinister correlation between the growth in the number of coffee shops and comedians. Learning little from the workshop and following a break-up with his long-time girlfriend, Roddy tries London, only to return ignominiously to Galway. More hapless adventures follow as our middle-aged everyman fitfully pursues his dreams in this hilarious novel. - Brian Maye, The Irish Times
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Snippets of the book, ready by Karl himself: