I loved the way Delaney wove the O'Meara family's story in and around the legends and history of Ireland. I felt I was walking the same country paths and sitting in the story rooms. Further, Delaney's narration was as professional and engaging as any I have heard. If you're Irish, or just wish you were, I heartily recommend "Ireland" by Frank Delaney.
My wife and I have been to Ireland twice. I loved this book because the writer narrated his own stories. I found Frank Delaney really captured the many places I'd seen in Ireland. Listening to these stories was just like being there. I look forward to listening to another one of Frank Delaney's books.
I started listening to this book (I'm reviewing all three parts here) as preparation for a trip to Ireland this summer. I love antiquity and history, so I thought this would set the mood for my trip. In fact, it was indispensable. Many of the places described in the stories told here were already on my itinerary, and the Irishness of the text as well as of the audio couldn't have complemented my travels better. I plan to listen to the whole book again, soon.
The author uses the device of a frame story to give us a wide range of tales in varying styles covering centuries of Irish history and legend. The frame story is absorbing. if not quite believable. I can chalk up some of the anachronisms - potatoes in the Bronze Age, Mexican pigments in the Book of Kells - to the fanciful nature of the storyteller figure. My only serious reservation about the book is that the boy whose actions dominate the narrative is not a very likable character.
Frank Delaney weaves an enchanting rendition of Irish history that is part fact, part fiction, part legend. Not for the historical purist or pedantic scholar, but as the Storyteller in the novel tells his captive audience: you can't tell Irish history without entering the mythical realm. If Delaney's main goal is to give the reader a sense of the forces that shaped Irish history and the Irish character, he succeeds brilliantly. I love how the novel flip-flops from past to present, and the variety of devices and plot twists the author uses to get us from one time period to another. Best of all, Delaney does his own--and absolutely superb--narration. Hands down the most enjoyful audiobook I've listened to in a long while.
I fell in love with this book when I read it several years ago and decided to listen to the audio to prepare for an upcoming trip to Ireland. Hearing Frank Delaney reading it out loud made the stories even better! A book about a story teller really should be listened to, and instead of needing to use an actor, the author himself reads it and does an amazing job!
A good book that transcended to awesome because of my recent visits to Ireland. It’s a whole bunch of stories about Ireland’s history sandwiched into one overarching story -- about a traveling storyteller (“the last of a fabled breed”) and the boy who idolizes him. Because I’d actually visited many of places the stories referenced, it added another layer of understanding and enjoyment to what I saw. This is perhaps three or four stars if you’ve not been to Ireland or aren’t too keen on history, but five for me.
I greatly enjoyed the interweaving of historical tales of Ireland with a young boy's pursuit of his passion. Some other reviews speak of this book as being slow, and I suppose it is to a degree. It wasn't meant to be an adrenaline rush from cover to cover. I would, however, highly recommend this to anyone who likes to feel the magic of a master storyteller fill your mind and soul.
While recently driving on a long road trip I listened to this book. I generally enjoy listening to longer durration historical books and was really looking forward to the drive, therefore I did not take another book along. The narration was fine and the history was interesting, but the story line was like injecting medicine through a large gage needle, slow and painfully. I would have rather heard the narrator read a history text. On the return jouney I downloaded another book; thinking of finishing that last five hours was just too painful.