|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2009)|
|Cover artist||Charlie O’Neill|
|Series||The Barrytown Trilogy|
|Publisher||King Farouk (Dublin)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Followed by||The Snapper|
The Commitments (1987) (Originally called The Partitions) is a novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle, and is the first episode in The Barrytown Trilogy. It is a tale about a group of unemployed young people in the north side of Dublin, Ireland, who start a soul band.
Plot summary 
Two friends - Derek Scully and "Outspan" Foster - get together to form a band, but soon realise that they don't know enough about the music business to get much further than their small neighbourhood in the Northside of Dublin. To solve this problem, they recruit a friend they'd had from school, Jimmy Rabbite, to be their manager. He accepts graciously, but only if he can make fundamental changes to the group, the first being the sacking of the third, and mutually disliked, member - their synth player. After this, Rabbitte gets rid of their name, making them "The Commitments", ("All the good 60s bands started with a 'the'.")(citation needed) and, most importantly, forming them from another synth-pop group to the face of what he thinks will be the Dublin-Soul revolution. ("Yes, Lads. You'll be playing Dublin Soul!")
He witnesses a young man singing drunkenly into a microphone at a friend's wedding and is struck by the fact he is singing "something approximating music". He decides the band should play soul music. Jimmy places an ad in the local paper reading "Have you got soul? Then Dublin's hardest working band is looking for you". Eventually, he gets together a mismatched group with seemingly no musical talent, led by mysterious stranger Joey "The Lips" Fagan, who claims to have played trumpet with Joe Tex and the Four Tops. They quickly start learning how to play their instruments and perform a number of local gigs.
With music fanatic Jimmy Rabbite as their manager, the Commitments seek to fulfil their goal of bringing soul to Dublin. In the beginning, Jimmy includes all of the country Ireland, but later realised that the culchies have everything whereas the Dubliners were the working-class and had nothing. Bringing soul music to Ireland was then reduced merely to the city.
- Steven "James" Clifford - Pianist,
- Imelda Quirke - Backup Vocalist,
- Natalie Murphy - Backup Vocalist,
- Mickah Wallace - Bouncer/ 2nd Drummer,
- Bernie McGloughin - Backup Vocalist,
- Dean Fay - Saxophonist,
- Liam "Outspan" Foster - Guitarist,
- Billy Mooney - 1st Drummer (quit because he couldn't stand Deco),
- Joey "The Lips" Fagan - Trumpet,
- Derek Scully - Bassist,
- Declan "Deco" Cuffe - Lead Vocalist.
Tensions run high between the band members, not helped by the jealousy and animosity Joey receives from other male members due to the attention he receives from the female backing singers. The band slowly becomes more and more musically competent and draws bigger and more enthusiastic audiences. But the band falls apart after a gig when Joey is seen kissing Imelda and a fight ensues—all while Jimmy is negotiating to record the band's first single with an independent label.
Fagan soon goes to America after Imelda tells him she is pregnant (she was actually lying, only saying this for the attention). In the end, Jimmy, along with the band's other founding members and Mickah, form The Brassers, an Irish hybrid of punk and country. They plan on inviting James into the band after he's finished his medical degree, and they discuss getting the ladies involved as well.
The film, book, and soundtrack were all hugely popular in the 90s, and a group containing some of the film's actors still tours. There are some differences between the book and film, the most obvious being that the novel was composed mostly of dialogue, with hardly any physical description; the movie concentrated much more on the collapse of Dublin's inner city. Unlike the film, which could be categorized as comedy-drama, the book was almost entirely comedic.