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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Brilliance from the 17th C. to 20th C.
Malachy McCourt created a wonderful compilation of Irish classical writing. This book reveals one of Ireland's finest treasures ... its literature and dazzling writers. Often this Irish "traditon" is pushed aside by the headlines that shout about the political and religious conflicts. The literary geniuses are *both* men and women who are recognized in this volume by...
Published on February 13, 2004 by Erika Borsos

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so great
Long, wordy and not that great.
Published 5 months ago by Mike


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Brilliance from the 17th C. to 20th C., February 13, 2004
Malachy McCourt created a wonderful compilation of Irish classical writing. This book reveals one of Ireland's finest treasures ... its literature and dazzling writers. Often this Irish "traditon" is pushed aside by the headlines that shout about the political and religious conflicts. The literary geniuses are *both* men and women who are recognized in this volume by their carefully selected classic writing to be world class authors ... authors who give Ireland permanent status as an artistic and creative society.
Jonathan Swift, famous for his book, "Gulliver's Travels", was a genuine humanitarian who wrote a tongue-in-cheek satire, a short story titled, "A Modest Proposal" which was absolutely shocking in its day -- but which brought much needed attention to the plight of poor children who were starving. In short, he proposed all the valid reasons they should be fed, housed and clothed ... so as to be a delicacy, a meal for the wealthy, who feed, house and otherwise treat their animals and live-stock better than they do human beings. Another very important piece of literature is "Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry" by William Carleton. He provides true descriptions of the peasant life of the 18th C. ... we learn of feuds between families, the reaction of a clan when one of their members is murdered, the funeral and keening, along with the customs of the times, and even the burial. The importance of the Catholic clergy, the role they play in village life, and the influence they have over the people is detailed. Another entertaining piece is the abduction of a school master from a neighboring village ... a town went to this extreme to provide education for their children, something very highly valued and respected. Carleton's writing is filled with the Irish brogue and use of language by the common people which makes you feel you are living within that century and experiencing the customs, traditons and life-style of that era.
So far, my favorite writing is what would be a best selling novel, surely in the top 10 on the New York Times list ... "Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh" by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu. This literary masterpiece, contains a heroine, Maud Ruthyn, whose father dies, and leaves her in the care o her guardian Uncle Silas. He is a recluse and mysterous because there was an unexplained death which occured many years ago nin his mansion, considered a suicide but rumors still circulate if it wasn't really a murder. This novella includes, a rogueish male cousin, who is a reckless playboy ... a handsome rich widower ... a talkative free-spirited cousin Monica ... and a tom-boyish female cousin, the daughter of Uncle Silas. There is an educated, highly cultured French governess -- who is a bit creepy and sinster at times ... The characters, plot, mystery and story-line are all superbly written as suspense builds. It is a non-stop page-turning novella that grabs the reader's attention and will not let it go until the end. This story has all the ingredients for an Academy award winning film ...
I love short stories and literature which depicts tradition, culture and the past ... this book meets my definition of a "great book". Malachy McCourt chose the stories and poems in this book with serious consideraton. The writing spans over 200 of Irish literature -- it even includes selected poems by Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats. In the category of world literature, the Irish have proven to be gold medal winners.
Erika Borsos (erikab93)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so great, July 5, 2014
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Mike (Knoxville,Tennessee) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Voices of Ireland: Classic Writings of a Rich and Rare Land (Paperback)
Long, wordy and not that great.
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Voices of Ireland: Classic Writings of a Rich and Rare Land
Voices of Ireland: Classic Writings of a Rich and Rare Land by Malachy McCourt (Paperback - January 20, 2004)
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