Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle

Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle (Quick Read) 2/5


Pat had been best friends with Joe Murphy since they were kids. But years ago they had a fight. A big one, and they haven’t spoken since – till the day before Joe’s funeral. What? On the day before his funeral Joe would be dead, wouldn’t he? Yes, he would…Roddy Doyle’s first book for the Quick Reads programme to support adult literacy is fast, funny and just a tiny bit spooky.

This book was published for the Quick Reads programme. Quick Reads is designed to get adults reading. Various authors offer short stories to the series and Dead Man Talking was Roddy Doyle’s offering. The books are just £1.00 and easy to read in mere hours. I love the concept of the Quick Reads Programme, but not this book.


What the hell just happened? That was how I felt after reading this quick read. It’s a novella that can be read in hours, but that shouldn’t detract from plot, character development, or for the story to be, well, interesting. It was easy to guess where the story was headed, yet still didn’t fully offer a satisfying conclusion.

The writing style is not my cup of tea. It felt stilted and unnatural. It jarred with me as I read; I hoped that I would get passed that within a chapter or two, but no, it continues until the end of the book.

I understood the meaning behind the story, and Doyle makes a disturbing point that we must be careful how we treat people in life or it may come back to bite us- over and over again. That aspect is what garnered my 2/5 rating.

Some reader’s rave about this book, but others feel the same way as I do. It’s definitely a ‘Marmite’ kind of book.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.