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Publisher's Summary

One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and their neighbors to join him by the wintry fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland's history. Ronan, a 9-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again. Ronan's search for the Storyteller becomes both a journey of self-discovery, long unspoken family secrets, and an immersion into the sometimes conflicting histories of his native land.
A sweeping novel of huge ambition, Ireland is the beautifully told story of a remarkable nation. It rings with the truth of a writer passionate about his country and in full command of his craft.
©2005 Frank Delaney (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A sprawling, riveting read....Rich and satisfying." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By John on 03-17-05

Best Listen In A Quite While

What a wonderful surprise! I heard the author/narrator interviewed on NPR's Weekend Edition and this got my interest.
First I was impressed that the author not only read the novel but he told the story as well, or maybe better than a pro. The book (call it a "story" and if you listen to this, you'll understand why) is just wonderful: Ireland/Storytelling/History/Family- what jumble of themes! An since the base is Ireland, it works like a charm.
Delany should get nominated for "Reader of the Year" if there is such a thing.
I think that the over-sentimentality that another reviwer mentioned is really an important part of the story: the author calls it "feeling" and it is a part of telling history- making it more deeply relevant in order to speak to us as individuals.
This is as close to perfect as an audiobook needs to be.

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32 of 33 people found this review helpful


By Claire on 03-15-05

Musical Reading

I felt this book was perfect for this medium. The stories are classic, exiting, and imaginative; But the most wonderful quality is the charming voice of the storyteller, a wonderful, musical, authentic brogue.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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