Roddy Doyle’s Charlie Savage collects a whole year’s worth of hilarious, self-effacing and often poignant anecdotes, first published in the Irish Independent, about a middle-aged Dubliner reconciling with his own mortality, and the irrefutable reality of having more past than future. Or, as Charlie’s daughter puts it, “in the prime of your decline.”
Although Charlie Savage touches on the ‘cruelty’ of ageing, it’s ultimately a celebration of life; how joy can be plucked from the tiniest, unlikeliest moments; how laughter can be ignited in even the worst circumstances; and how the circle of life is something to be celebrated. We gradually lose the vitality of youth, but what we gain is something grander; transcendental, almost.
Doyle’s writing is as sharp, earnest and disarming as ever. He’ll have you guffawing with laughter on one page, then wring your heart on another. The episodic format of Charlie Savage means it can be read in instalments, but if you’re like me, you’ll devour it in very few, and then struggle to fill the void that forms, with Charlie and his family and friends now missing from your life.
Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 14-Mar-2019
Country of Publication: United Kingdom