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A Secret Map of Ireland Paperback – February 1, 2010


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A Secret Map of Ireland + McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland + Round Ireland with a Fridge
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: GemmaMedia (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934848271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934848272
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“An essential book - full of rare and fascinating detail.” -Colm Tóibín

About the Author

Rosita Boland is a journalist with the Irish Times. She lives in Dublin.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dwight A. Hartman on August 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My wife and I are leaving shortly for a five week trip to Ireland. This will be our first Ireland trip and, most probably, the only such trip we will be able to make there.

We have purchased a number of travel guides and have found most of them informative and of value in planning our trip.

However, the book "A Secret Map of Ireland" is the only book that puts life into our trip planning experience and we strongly recommend reading it to anyone who wants to get some insite into the country and people they are going to visit!

Dwight Hartman
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peggins Thorne on December 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been fantasizing about going to Ireland non-stop for the past two years. I bought my loved ones gifts made in Ireland for Christmas this year. All was going well till I read this part of the book last night, "Ireland is a country that is sentimentalized by virtually everyone except those who actually live in it". At that moment my heart stopped, the blood ran out of my face and time stood still. Oh my god I thought, what a twit I am! She followed up that sentence by telling us what litter bugs the Irish are and an instance of a man burning his rubbish at one of the "beauty areas" as she called it. He neglected to burn everything and they found his name and address and he was fined. She said they litter because they don't realize they live in such beauty. I can't blame her for this fact and I understand what she's saying maybe more than a lot of folks. I lived in a place like that for 20 years. It's called Hawaii. The locals there are such slobs. They throw trash everywhere. I've seen many waterfalls spoiled by appliances being thrown into the pools which make them hazardous to swim and jump in. Even the areas with heiaus (temples) are littered with appliances and junk cars and bags of trash, and beer bottles and cans. The fishing spots are nasty too with empty squid boxes, Kool cigarette packs and butts, Coors Silver Bullet cans, fishing gear packages and food wrappers. Animals that die are thrown on the side of dirt roads. There are also people there that eat black dogs and you'll find the hides just tossed here and there. I can't tell you how many I've stumbled upon. It's sad and horrifying. The locals make a big stink about respecting the aina (land) and they're the biggest offenders. Sounds like Hawaii and Ireland are very much the same.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G Erdwhile on May 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you read the Irish Times regularly Rosita Borland is one of its writers who seems to have a relatively free rein to do the mildly eccentric, and as such is often enjoyable. However, this book tells you more about Rosita Borland and her life, what's in her display cabinet, what her family members have or have - than Ireland. I bought it because I am in a relationship with an Irishman and wanted to know more about the country ahead of my first visit, I gamely trudged through the pages, desperate for glimpses of Ireland. They were there, but not enough, Ms Borland billowed through the pages. Too self indulgent for my taste.
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Fun approach to a country with many diverse attractions. I felt like I was seeing it with a friend who had an insider's perspective. Rather informal in a way that appealed to me. Having my Eyewitness travel guide by my side helped me get my bearings. Glad I bought it as I may find it handy to refer to when I'm there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
A longtime journalist for the Irish Times, Boland's narratives move along generally with efficiency, detail, and organization. Her style, honed at the newspaper, tends more towards that of the personal feature granted by her employer than that of her poetry. The imagery's less potent and the facts more present than I expected. The best of these short chapters, one for a sight seen in each of the thirty-two counties, reveal Boland's ability to employ synecdoche-- in which a quirky or overlooked part stands for the whole nation.

For instance, the border in the Armagh visit to the Tayto factory at Tandragee Castle reveals a great detail, in impressively subtle observation and comparison, about the cultural differences on each side of the frontier. Similarly, the Fermanagh example of the border hamlets at Pettigo-Tullyhommon & Belcoo/Blacklion show the daily idiosyncracies of phone service, postal delivery, and commercial trade across a sturdy if nearly invisible divide. Another rift she enters in the Meath visit to the Columban missionary fathers' nearly empty but once filled former seminary and the graying and diminishing ranks of the Trappists at Waterford's Mount Melleray opens up deftly the fading echo of retreating Catholicism in an era of declining vocations and secularized lifestyles.

At Malin Head in Donegal, I liked her treatment of how visibility for weather forecasting still depends in a technological era on a human observer looking at the sky and checking gauges on the hour no matter what. This attention for the telling detail is Boland at her best. When she gets to the Sligo "fairy theme park" run by one "Melody, Baroness of Leyne, Ph.D.," all Boland needs to place the dreadful place in its kitschy niche is a deadpan recital of its plastic (or "resin") figurines.
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