London Irish Dublin English
Daniel M Doyle
Dublin is a wonderful place to live and work. Experience this through the eyes of Donal, a wannabe Irish man. He loved the place so much that he moved here, from London, in the middle of the recession hit 1980’s. Working for an IT multinational company, he’s trying to sell computers to Dubliners. That’s not easy. If he doesn’t close a big deal with his customer, the bank, by the end of the year he’ll be on the boat back home.
You’ll meet Harry, the sales director, who should have been born two hundred years ago. Then there’s Nicky, the sultry marketing manager. Proceed with caution here. Try not to bump into Mannix, the sales manager. He’s rather clumsy and shy. Mairead is the smouldering Sales Prevention Officer. Be sure to stay on the right side of her. She could make things difficult for you. Try to avoid negotiating with Len, the bank’s procurement chief. It’s not a pleasant experience. If you fancy a night out in Dublin then take Terry with you. He’s the IT Director. He likes to be entertained. Be careful not to be mesmerized by Samantha, the bank’s beautiful Finance Director. She’s really cool.
Will Donal achieve his longed for Irishness? Will he close that sale? How will Nicky harness her sultriness for the greater good of society? Will Mannix overcome his inter-personal ineptitude? Will Mairead finally reveal the inner passionate woman? Will Terry get rid of Len? Will Harry get it together with Samantha? If humour be the food of life – read on!
This book is about a Londoner, Donal, who moves to Ireland in the mid-eighties, to the surprise of many people who know him. The story is about Donal’s working life as an IT salesman for the Dublin division of a US parent company, and focuses largely on one pitch to a bank. There is a lot of detail about how the sales process worked and the various conversations he and his colleagues have with the bank. Although the story is about Donal, the other characters are given almost as much prominence.
The book is written in the third person and therefore the reader is party to the various characters’ thoughts and backgrounds. Too much so for my liking. The detail of the job of salesman and the day-to-day tasks of the other people in the office is too in-depth to keep my attention and none of the characters came alive for me. I was expecting the story to be about Donal, but we didn’t get a proper insight to his life. If we hadn’t been told that he was a man in his thirties, I would have imagined him to be in his fifties – in fact, even though we were told he was a young man, I still imagined him to be in his fifties.
Some people might like the detail. I felt this was more of a memoir than a novel and I might have coped with the detail better if it had been. Even though it says in the front that all the characters are fictional, I got a great sense of autobiography and that the other players were all based on colleagues the author had known. Some of the anecdotes were just that – they didn’t lead anywhere or move the story along.
The story is a snapshot in these people’s lives. There is a conclusion of sorts, but the reader is left not knowing what the characters will be doing the next day, let alone how they fare in the rest of their lives.
The individual parts are well written. There is a great deal of humour if you step back to let it sink in. I felt as if great care had gone into the crafting of the prose, but (and this is an unusual thing for me to say!) perhaps so much so that it interrupted the flow.
For me, the book didn’t hang together very well. With some paring down of the text and having different characters for different stories, rather than shoe-horning them all into the one story, I think it could make a nice book of essays and anecdotes that the reader could dip into.
Editorial Input & Design
The text is very polished. In my opinion, the story could do with a strong developmental edit, but it has clearly been well copy-edited and proofread. There is one word that is given the incorrect spelling each of the half-dozen or so times it appears, and one sentence I had to read several times and still couldn’t make sense of. But apart from those things there are no glaring errors.
Cover: It gives the impression of being humorous book – and indeed is listed under humour and satire. Although there is humour in the book, it is not a laugh-out-loud, full of one-liners type of book. It is a smart cover, but I don’t think it conveys the contents of the book.
Internal design: There were no problems reading this on a Kindle. The text seems to have been professionally formatted. The paper version of the book, from what I can tell from the ‘Look inside’ facility on Amazon, doesn’t seem to have been quite so well formatted, with spaces between paragraphs and no indents. And it’s quite short at 191 pages.
Book Clubs & Reviews
I’d say not a suitable book for bookclubs. There isn’t the breadth of interest for discussion.
What others are saying Amazon UK readers give it 4.8 stars (6 reviewers) – most of the reviewers have reviewed just this one book; Amazon US readers give it 4.7 stars (7 reviewers); Goodreads readers give it 3 stars (5 ratings – one of these is the author giving himself five stars, so really 2.5 stars, 4 ratings).