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Summary

One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced and mysterious at a house in the Irish countryside. By the November fireside he begins to tell the story of this extraordinary land. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves, he devotes his life to finding him again. It is a search that uncovers both passions and mysteries, in his own life as well as the old man's, and their solving becomes the thrilling climax to this tale. But the life of this boy is more than just his story: it is also the telling of a people, the narrative of a nation, the history of Ireland in all its drama, intrigue and heroism.

Ireland travels through the centuries by way of story after story, from the savage grip of the Ice Age to the green and troubled land of tourist brochures and news headlines. Along the way, we meet foolish kings and innocent monks, god-heroes and great works of art, shrewd Norman raiders and envoys from Rome, leaders, poets, and lovers. Each illuminates the magic of Ireland, the power of England, and the eternal connection to the land.

©2004 Frank Delaney (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic reviews

"If you're a lover of Irish myths and history, there are rich pickings here." ( Guardian)
"The writing is smooth, seductive, and intentionally didactic in its combination of history, myth, and blarney." ( Sunday Telegraph)

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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Story

I was not certain about this book but within a few minutes of switching on became drawn in and found it hard to switch off.

4 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 20-02-15

Lends itself very well to an oral rendition

It was better than expected, as I've recently listened to some books that didn't work well in the audio version, for example, Life of Pi, which I found too rambling to follow.

This story is about a storyteller and is beautifully told and narrated by the author. Contrary to the
impression the book cover gives, it's a simple and very human tale that gently guides you through thousands of years of Irish history.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story, beautifully told.

I was rivetted from the first line, Frank Delaney is a natural storyteller and I would highly recommend this audio book. Beautifully read, beautifully told.

1 person found this helpful

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Irish things you didn't know you didn't know

History of Ireland beautifully delivered by a true seanchaí. I even liked the ambiguous disclaimer.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-05-18

My third listen to this book

I highly recommend this , or indeed any of Frank Delaney's novels. These audible versions are read by the author and I could listen to his voice happily for the rest of my life. His accents, his inflections, his timing, are all sublime. I have just listened to this audible talking book for the third time over the last few years and enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Thank you so much Mr Delaney. I would love to meet you one day to thank you for the hours of joy you have brought me.

1 person found this helpful