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Editorial Reviews

The Irish actor Donal Donnelly brings an enchanting, almost musical quality to this James Stephens' fairytale. With Donnelly's graceful Irish accent, listeners will be swept up into this magical world of philosophy, folklore, and humor. Containing six books, The Crock of Gold is the tale of a philosopher's journey to find and rescue the beautiful Cáitlin Ni Murrachu from the god Pan. But, of course, no Irish folktale is so simple. Listen along as Donnelly takes you through the mysterious and humorous creation that is James Stephens' Ireland.

Publisher's Summary

This unique fairy tale filled with whimsy and satire is much more than a story for the nursery. The tale begins with two old philosophers who live in a dark pine wood with their companions the Grey woman of Dun Gortin and the Thin Woman of Inis Magrath. When the wife of farmer MacMurrachu loses her washing board, the farmer comes to ask the philosophers for advice. They direct the old farmer not to a washboard, but to a tree containing a pot of gold. Discover what happens as the story unfolds, as it wanders like a winding Irish country road through a charming landscape of mysterious, plain, mortal, and immortal creatures.

(P)1990 by Recorded Books, Inc.; Illustration by James Masters ©1990

Critic Reviews

"Full of sweetness and whimsicality, of sympathy and tenderness and sly satire, of merriment and of poetry." (The New York Times)
"There is no book in the world the least like it, and probably there will never be another." (The Atlantic)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Classic Irish Fantasy

Wonderfull storytelling in a classic style. It also reveals much of Irish life at the time. Well read as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

such beautiful words

There is no story here, just a series of sequential events which are used to say beautiful and interesting things. Weird and wonderful.
I did not like the narrator, but I found if played at 1.5 times normal speed, then it was fine.

  • Overall
  • chris
  • Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • 06-25-06

Was there a story here someplace?

After a promising start, this tale jumps between characters without enough time spent on any one to get to know them. There are huge passages of pointless philosophical dialogue that add nothing to the story. There are some amusing passages but if there is an actual plot to this story, I missed it.

The ending is a dull deus-ex-machina mess that made me think the author wasn't sure how to end it, so he let some gods take care of it -- in another long passage of pointless philosophy. The ending came as a surprise to me, as I was no longer paying attention at that point. I had to rewind to see if I missed something, but nope, there was nothing there.

I wonder how this one got past the editors. Someone should have said "cut down the talking and spend more time making the characters interesting, and for heav?n's sake get them to DO something".

The narrator was excellent. Too bad he didn't have better material. The two stars I give for this book is for him and for the handful of scenes that were worth reading.