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A Great Feast of Light Hardcover – International Edition, October 11, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

“Doyle traces in an idiosyncratic, but always convincing way, the effect that television had on liberating Ireland from the iron grip of the Catholic church. Once Donna Reed was happy, despite never saying the rosary or going to confession, the social landscape changed. Once civil rights and women's rights marched through the living rooms of Ireland the political landscape was forever altered. A Great Feast of Light is the perfect portrayal of the 'global village' and its consequences.”
– Catherine Gildiner, author of Closer to the Falls

“A liltingly written, passionately engaged piece of work that braids three distinct approaches into a tight, furious whole... Doyle's book has the great virtue of being both particular and personal in its details, and broad in its imaginative and nostalgic appeal.”                                                          
– Joan Barfoot, author of Luck

“For all its sharp insights into recent Irish history, A Great Feast of Light is as much post-McLuhan fable as Irish memoir, a gifted writer's story – funny, original, compelling – of his coming of age in one small outpost of the Global Village.”
The Globe and Mail

"A delightful memoir about growing up in Ireland. It’s also a perceptive sociological sketch of how television exposed insular Irish culture to the glamour of the outside world. . . . As a social study or personal reflection, A Great Feast of Light is a provocative and highly entertaining read.”
The Hamilton Spectator

"It is a delightful and original ramble; laconic, rueful and richly evocative of a time and place long gone and hardly lamented."                        
The London Free Press


"When you're small and in a small town people think you're blank, hardly there at all. Doyle keeps the breathless reader close and whispers ample rare sightings as if to... birdwatchers....ghost hunters. The result is a whispering Ireland where enlightenment's a bird and insularity's a ghost and even a boy knows better than to disturb either. A great feast of enlightenment."
—Gord Downie

About the Author

John Doyle, one of Canada’s most popular newspaper columnists, was born in Nenagh, County Tipperary, in 1957. He attended University College, Dublin and escaped to Canada in 1980. He has been a critic for The Globe and Mail since 1997 and has written the Globe’s daily television column since 2000. His writing has appeared in Report On Business magazine, Elle Canada, Books In Canada, The Irish Times, and the Toronto Star, among others. John Doyle lives in Toronto.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385660421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385660426
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,815,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Leacock on October 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the October 8, 2005, edition of The Globe and Mail newspaper, an excerpt of this book, yet to be released, was published. The excerpt was brilliantly written, colouring in the complexities of rural Ireland in the 1960s. In the same way that youth are influencing society today through the use of the Internet, cell phones, texting and gaming, John Doyle eloquently explores how the traditions of Irish culture and the oppressive forces of the Catholic Church were challenged by television a generation ago. I can't wait to read the book!
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Format: Hardcover
THis last poster is so JEALOUS of IRISH WIT & laughter
he is 40 shades of GREENER than ANY Irish person
I ever knew. Of course EL SCHMUCKO
is GREEN WITH ENVY!

[...]

I grew up in the parish of TERRYGLASS/KIlBARRON

TEN MILEs from NENAGH and I could tell stories
about the Doyles that would make UR hair curl
but me throat is parched!

Absolutely LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT the book
& the brilliant writing style
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. O'Keeffe on October 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is thoroughly enjoyable and gives an excellent window on what it was like growing up both in rural and urban Ireland in the 60s and 70s. Tough subjects such as Northern Ireland and the Catholic Church are dealt with in an impressively pithy manner.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George on October 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Why is it that a mediocre "TV" reviewer thinks we should give a damn about his childhood response to televison -- in Ireland of all places. How many more tedious stories about church, drink, Irish "wit," Mam and Dad, must we endure? The Irish are special -- ok -- got it. Now let's move on. This Celtic tiger has no teeth.
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