– I see Roddy Doyle has released another of those Two Pints books.
– What’s a Two Pint book when it’s at home?
– It’s a book you can read in about the time it takes to drink two pints! Hah!
– Is that the best you’ve got?
– Give me a chance. I’ve only had a couple of sips.
– Okay, so. I’ll reiterate: what’s this Two Pints malarkey all about?
– Basically, you get a couple of blokes talking about the world over a pint.
– Go on.
– It’s basically a series of flash fictions. Riffs on current affairs.
– Such as.
– Such as the royals going on holiday, various celebrities dying, stuff happening in Ireland.
– Stuff happening in Ireland? What’s that got to do with the price of ale?
– I saw what you did there.
– Thanks, I’m glad someone is paying attention.
– There are a fair few things that readers outside of Ireland might not get.
– But you said they were largely flash fictions.
– Aye, they are.
– So is it like buses then?
– Fictional buses?
– Aye, fictional buses. If you don’t like one, another comes along a minute after.
– Well, yes and no. It’s not like it’s different characters drinking pints. It’s the same two fellas.
– I get you. So they sit in the pub and they talk –
– But you only hear what they say. It’s just dialogue.
– So it’s Roddy Doyle by way of Smith and Jones.
– You could say that, yeah.
– So it’s funny.
– Did you laugh?
– I did.
– But not all the time.
– Is that because some of it is serious?
– That and some of it isn’t funny.
– What else?
– Go on. I can tell there’s something else you want to say.
– Well, the thing is. I can’t quite make my mind up.
– About what?
– About your man Roddy Doyle.
– What about your man Roddy Doyle?
– Well, on the one hand, he’s a serious novelist.
– He is. Didn’t he win the Booker Prize with that Paddy book?
– He did. He did win the Booker Prize.
– So what’s your problem?
– I suppose my problem is: I feel like he doesn’t take himself seriously enough.
– Isn’t that a good thing?
– It is a good thing.
– So what’s your problem then?
– I feel like – every idea he has becomes a book.
– You’re saying he’s not selective.
– I am.
– He wants to write a children’s book, he writes a children’s book.
– He wants to write a biography of his parents…
– He wrote a biography of his parents?
– He did.
– That’s some brass balls right there.
– I’m sure he’d say that their experience was typical of the post-war Irish etc.
– He’d be talking out of his hole.
– So you’re not completely comfortable with his oeuvre?
– But you didn’t mind Two More Pints?
– Not really, no. It’s over so fast, you have a chuckle and then it’s done.
– That’s what your missus says.
– Do we do the Any Cop? bit now?
– Oh I hate that bit. He should’ve retired that ages ago.
– I don’t think Roddy had a say in that.
– Not Roddy. The Bookmunch fella. He should’ve retired the Any Cop?
– Maybe he’s thought about and decided to stick with it.
– So. Any Cop?
– Aye. It’s alright.
– Worth £7.99?