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Ireland | [Frank Delaney]

Ireland

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.
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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.

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (630 )
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Performance
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  •  
    G. Cothalis 01-17-10
    G. Cothalis 01-17-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Transported to Ireland"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Ramsey, MN United States 12-13-09
    Jeanne Ramsey, MN United States 12-13-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Breath-taking book"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Tremblay Cole 02-05-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Telling Stories"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lanlady Woodbridge, VA USA 11-24-08
    Lanlady Woodbridge, VA USA 11-24-08 Member Since 2006
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    "absolutely masterful"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 10-08-08
    Donald 10-08-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding written work and narration!!!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Oklahoma City, OK, USA 10-02-08
    Lori Oklahoma City, OK, USA 10-02-08
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    "OUTSTANDING!"

    I loved this book! I absolutely got lost in the tales. This is storytelling at it's best!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Clark Charlotte, NC USA 04-25-08
    J. Clark Charlotte, NC USA 04-25-08 Member Since 2007
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    "disappointed"

    After listening to the preview and reading the other reviews, I was sooooo looking forward to this book! I was disappointed.

    The history of Ireland is woven in as a minority to the main story of an odd young person whose own story is uninteresting and dominates the book. I did enjoy the story-telling aspect; the fireside, the pipe and all that, make for a cozy setting. Yet, if you are English or Christian, be prepared to be offended because this author does not like you and makes his opinions prevalent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Hunt 03-12-08
    Ron Hunt 03-12-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ireland"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 03-09-08
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 03-09-08 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    This was a very interesting book that had a lot of great history about Ireland. However it was a little boring. There was nothing particularly wrong with the book, the story was engaging, the history was interesting, the characters were likeable, it was just a little slow. The narrator was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 02-07-08
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 02-07-08 Member Since 2005

    I am a blessed man!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding Storytelling"

    Wonderfully read. It is a shame Audible charges now 2 credits for this and Tipperary- Last month it was only 1 credit... and the price did not change!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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