In the winter of 1951, a storyteller arrives at the home of nine-year-old Ronan O'Mara in the Irish countryside. The last practitioner of an honoredcenturies-old tradition, the Seanchai enthralls his assembled audience forthree evenings running with narratives of foolish kings and fabled saints,of enduring accomplishments and selfless acts- until ...
In the winter of 1951, a storyteller arrives at the home of nine-year-old Ronan O'Mara in the Irish countryside. The last practitioner of an honoredcenturies-old tradition, the Seanchai enthralls his assembled audience forthree evenings running with narratives of foolish kings and fabled saints,of enduring accomplishments and selfless acts- until he is banished from the household for blasphemy and moves on. But these three incomparable nights have changed young Ronan forever, setting him on the course he will follow for years to come- as he pursues the elusive, storyteller..and the magical tales that are no less than the glorious saga of his extraordinary i
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This is a book for reading and re-reading whether one is interested in Ireland or in good writing. Frank Delaney's "Ireland" teaches history the way history should be taught -- as a story rooted in human desires and efforts. His writing is both accessible and lyrical.
Mar 29, 2012
What a tour!!
Ireland as you've rarely seen it any other time. The tour is great as all the story tellers amplify the prime character. How true that the neighbors know more about you than you ever knew yourself.... The flow draws one in and keeps one reading. Enjoy !!
Feb 19, 2009
Learning Irish History was a breeze
Delaney's use of oral history by an itinerant storyteller took a lot of the confusion out of my meagre store of knowledge. The story line is wonderful. I bought two copies and sent them to my family members - one who loves Ireland (born on March 17) more than I do, and the other to a 12-year-old Irish dancer. Now she has the beginning to her own library of Irish lore. I even started reading James Joyce. Now, that's remarkable.
Jan 31, 2008
Good history lesson
This book was enjoyable even though it is long and parts are a little slow. It was rich in descriptions and full of Irish history. I look forward to visiting someday.
May 10, 2007
Readable Irish History
This book is is a history lesson couched as a good read. The travelling storyteller presents vignettes of significant points in the history of the green isle. By presenting the history from a personal point of view, he brings to life the characters and the times.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-12-13 BBC reporter Delaney's fictionalized history of his native country, an Irish bestseller, is a sprawling, riveting read, a book of stories melding into a novel wrapped up in an Irish history text. In 1951, when Ronan O'Mara is nine, he meets the aging itinerant Storyteller, who emerges out a "silver veil" of Irish mist, hoping to trade a yarn for a hot meal. Welcomed inside, the Storyteller lights his pipe and begins, telling of the architect of Newgrange, who built "a marvelous, immortal structure... before Stonehenge in England, before the pyramids of Egypt," and the dentally challenged King Conor of Ulster, who tried, and failed, to outsmart his wife. The stories utterly captivate the young Ronan ("This is the best thing that ever, ever happened"), and they'll draw readers in, too, with their warriors and kings, drinkers and devils, all rendered cleanly and without undue sentimentality. When Ronan's mother banishes the Storyteller for telling a blasphemous tale, Ronan vows to find him. He also becomes fascinated by Irish myth and legend, and, as the years pass, he discovers his own gift for storytelling. Eventually, he sets off, traversing Ireland on foot to find his mentor. Past and present weave together as Delaney entwines the lives of the Storyteller and Ronan in this rich and satisfying book. Agent, Ed Victor. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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