Ireland : A Novel, Paperback
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


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.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This was an enjoyable read - what it lacked in characterisation it made up for in the interest of tracing Ireland's history through stories. As an English person I found parts of it quite horrifying, and it made it a lot easier for me to understand how there has been so much hatred generated between Ireland and England. Didn't do anything for my national pride but then I barely had any to begin with.

Review by

This book is essentially a collection of short stories tied together by the life of the narrator. It tells the story of Ireland from its first inhabitants, to St. Patrick and the Easter Rising, and paints some truly wonderful pictures which stay with you long after you've finished reading. Saying that, however, I did lose interest with the connecting tale of the narrator which contained a couple of terribly predictable plot-twists and struggled to progress with the same ease as the short stories it enveloped.

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