Q: When do you start a trilogy in the middle?
A: When you are a cheapskate minimalist!
Someone recommended “The Barrytown Trilogy” to me and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. The problem is that I’m a minimalist cheapskate. I don’t like buying things and I definitely don’t like spending money on something before I know whether I’ll like or not. So, with new authors and new books, I usually borrow them from the library first.
My library has a very nice online system where you can put books on hold. Even if they don’t carry a certain book, they’ll borrow it from one of the other libraries in the county. Very neat and affordable: just $0.25 a book. Even I can’t complain about that.
With the Barrytown trilogy I ran into a small problem. The library only had the first and the second book. “No big deal,” I thought to myself. “By the time I’m done with those two books, I’ll know if I like the series enough to buy it.”
I put book one (“The Commitments”) and book two (“The Snapper”) on hold and waited for the call from the library. About a week later, which is longer than usual, the call finally came. I ran to the library (not literally, I actually rode my bike there) to find out they couldn’t find the first book. They only had “The Snapper”.
I’m pretty easy going so I didn’t mind much. Something is better than nothing, right?
I started reading the book right away and, about two chapters later, I put it down, logged into my husband’s Amazon account, and ordered the whole trilogy. I don’t have an Amazon account for myself. I use my husband’s when I want to buy something. That way I don’t feel like I’m the one spending money! Another insight into the strange workings of my mind …
Back to the Barrytown trilogy. It’s a great series, written by a great author. I enjoy it very much both as your regular reader, and as a newbie writer. Roddy Doyle has an incredible talent for dialogue that is authentic and realistic. Very funny too! The only problem I have is that I’m not very good at understanding the Irish slang yet. I’m catching on fast though.