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Footloose in the West of Ireland Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

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If one doesn't finish this tape with a desire to tramp around western Ireland, it's not the fault of writer-reader Harding. His enthusiasm for his subject is as infectious as his Irish pronunciation is perfect. (He's English.) At one point he says, "In Ireland truth is not as important as legend," and plenty of legends and memorable characters inhabit his prose. Another plus is that Harding has personally taken all these rambles, accompanied by various companions, and alternately hampered by bad weather and cheered by local pubs. Even so, it will take a dedicated armchair traveler or hiker to get through all eight cassettes. A detailed map enclosed with the package would help. Since the narrative isn't cumulative, it could be enjoyed in segments. J.B.G. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Chivers Audio Books; Unabridged edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754000370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754000372
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,225,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By j lawrence on July 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
An introductory portrait of this talented author sets the tone of this lovely book on page x of its introduction. His slightly raffish pose overlooking the southernmost point of mainland Ireland prefaces a splendid and colourful vista of the country's best of the west. Of course as everyone knows this is a wild and beautiful area, where farmers still carry their peat in wheelbarrows (Connemara), and stone walls are uniquely crazy (the Burren). Ireland's entire population is still less than Puerto Rico, though it is almost eight times its size. Its fiordlike coastline, and imposing mountains are wonderfully described with a storyteller's flair, a gentle touch, and often a winking eye. He lets you feel the flowers underfoot in County Clare, but doesnt talk about the ticks lurking in the bracken at the foot of Slieve Elva. He tells you of the music in the pubs, but doesnt say that a foreign fiddler can walk in to some such a pub, and be offered a fiddle hanging on the wall, so warm is the welcome. His love of the tunes is on the page... the text is interspersed with lines of musical notation (like Walter Starkie's Raggle Taggle) from Macgillycuddy's Polka to Old Nag You Have Killed Me. He speaks personally of almost losing it on the forbidding high ridges of Mweelrea, a truly imposing mountain, and he is poetic in chronicling the godawful tale of the starving, ragged band that was turned back not that many years ago by the heartless Poor Law guardians at Delphi Lodge.
I just came back from following in some of his footsteps. The book was a true and constant pleasure, and got me a pint or two of Guinness into the bargain from trying on a few of his tales. Among his best stories, not well known apparently (so there is still possibly more guiness awaiting the telling) is the one about the true naming in Gaelic of the Devil's Mother, but you'll have to get the book for that.
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