• by Frank Delaney
  • Narrated by Frank Delaney
  • 19 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A wonderfully read history of Ireland

Too often when the writer reads his own material, his voice isn?t up to the quality of professional readers. This isn?t the case with this wonderful novel. This book is really a series of vignettes about the history of Ireland, starting from its ancient days up until Bloody Sunday. Each story is given to his hosts by a traveling ?storyteller,? one of the central characters of the story. A parallel story involving the storyteller, his past and his loved ones runs throughout. Its only flaw is a periodic over-sentimentality, the kind in ?chicken-soup-for the soul? books. But these failings are rare. Overall a satisfying and absorbing listen.
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- S. Marie "S. Marie"

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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- John

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-17-2005
  • Publisher: HarperAudio