Download Bullfighting: Stories Audiobook

Bullfighting: Stories Audiobook, by Roddy Doyle Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Roddy Doyle Narrator: Lorcan Cranitch Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781609983062
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Roddy Doyle has earned a devoted following for his wry wit, his uncanny ear, and his ability to fully capture the hearts of his characters. Bullfighting, his second collection of stories, offers thirteen bittersweet takes on men and middle-age, revealing a panorama of Ireland today. Moving from classrooms to local pubs to bullrings, these tales feature an array of men taking stock and reliving past glories, each concerned with loss in different ways—of their place in the world, of their power, their virility, health, and love.

“Recuperation” follows a man as he sets off on his daily prescribed walk around his neighborhood, the sights triggering recollections of his family and his younger days. In “Animals,” George recalls caring for his children’s many pets and his heartfelt effort to spare them grief when they died or disappeared. The title story captures the mixture of bravado and helplessness of four friends who go off to Spain on holiday.

Sharply observed, funny, and moving, these thirteen stories present a new vision of contemporary Ireland, of its woes and triumphs, and middle-aged men trying to break out of the routines of their lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There is not a writer currently working in English who can match Doyle for the fluency with which he tacks back and forth between the hilarious and the heartbreaking. ‘Sad and good had become the same thing’” thinks a mourner in one story who has attended too many funerals, and in this collection Doyle hits that sweet spot again and again.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “There are writers who make it look hard, and then there are writers who make it look easy. Roddy Doyle is one of the latter, as he proves in each of the thirteen stories in Bullfighting. The stories are rueful, sad, amusing, stifled, haunting.”

    Denver Post

  • “If there’s one thing the Irish can do, it’s tell stories. Doyle is no exception; he does them proud. He writes with humor and pathos. He has a justly acclaimed ear for the Irish voice. He has keen insights into the Ireland of the twenty-first century and keener insights into the men and women who inhabit it.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • “These rather tenderhearted sketches of how men get old in contemporary Ireland may not be autobiographical but they’re true; they come from life as lived.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “Probably the finest collection of Irish short stories since James Joyce’s Dubliners. The delicacy of emotion is here, the spare but elegant writing, the heartbreak and humor…There’s laughter and sadness, provided by a writer at his peak, teasing meaning out of the ordinary with exquisite skill and delicacy.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Roddy Doyle’s Bullfighting offers a series of rare and beautiful mid-life meditations.”

    Sunday Express (London)

  • “The men in Doyle’s sardonic and bittersweet collection are teetering on the edge of middle age, and while they’re not always desperate to stay young, there’s something terrifying about the future for each of them…They’re the men for whom reflection, even when tinged with regret, is cathartic.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Doyle has a way with character, and he uses dialogue as much to develop a character as he does to tell a story. Although these stories might depict the mundanity of urban life, they do it with aplomb.”


  • “Lorcan Cranitch delivers a one-man-show as he interprets Doyle’s second collection of stories. He expertly complements Doyle’s writing style with an authentic Irish brogue and takes it to another level with astounding changes in pitch for women’s, children’s, and even men’s voices. Cranitch’s expressive delivery of Doyle’s works is so complex and entertaining that it nearly makes the content of each story superfluous. One hears Doyle’s dry wit and insights into the Irish male persona as Cranitch deftly leaps from emotion to emotion. Men audibly struggle for their lost power, virility, health, social standing, and love while outwardly taking the culturally expected stance of bravura. Heartrending situations peppered with pub banter and weary women create vivid emotional terrain, both hilarious and moving. Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, a 2012 Audie Finalist.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Finalist for the 2012 Audie Award for Best Short Stories/Collections

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 5/9/2011

    " What if James Joyce was alive in the early part of the 21st century, was living through a mid-life crisis, and writing Dubliners? That’s my perception of this work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 4/7/2011

    " I love Roddy Doyle. This stories are deceptively simple and localized, but speak to human truths. The best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lillian | 2/17/2011

    " Doyle has written a funny and moving collection of contemporary short stories about the pleasures and woes of middle aged men. "

About the Author

Roddy Doyle is an Irish novelist, dramatist, and screenwriter. He is a recipient of the Irish PEN Award for Literature, and his novel Paddy Clarke Ha-Ha won the Man Booker Prize in 1993. Several of his books have been made into successful films, beginning with The Commitments in 1991. 

About the Narrator

Lorcan Cranitch is an Irish actor. He has starred in Ballykissangel, Shackleton, Hornblower, and the HBO/BBC production of Rome. He has appeared on stage with the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre and with the RSC, notably as John Hall in The Herbal Bed.