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The Crock of Gold (Forgotten Books)

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1605061573
ISBN-10: 1605061573
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Meehawl MacMurrachu's old skinny cat kills a robin redbreast on the roof one day, forging the first link in a long, peculiar chain of events. For the robin redbreast is the particular bird of the Leprecauns of Gort na Gloca Mora, and the Leprecauns retaliate by stealing Meehawl MacMurrachu's wife's washing-board, and Meehawl asks the Philosopher who lives in the center of the pine wood called Coilla Doraca for advice in locating the washboard...and the chain leads on and on, up to Angus Og himself and to the country of the gods. Unique and inimitable, this is one of the great tales of our century. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

About the Author:

"James Stephens wrote many retellings of Irish fairy tales. His retellings are marked by a rare combination of humor and lyricism (Deirdre, and Irish Fairy Tales are often singled out for praise). He also wrote several books (The Crock of Gold, Etched in Moonlight, Demi-Gods) which are fiction, but loosely based on Irish fairy tales. 'The Crock of Gold,' in particular, achieved enduring popularity, and was frequently reprinted throughout the author's lifetime." (Quote from wikipedia.org)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (November 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605061573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605061573
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,018,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
James Stephens is one of the writers who produced the works that have come to be called the "Celtic Revival". In the late Victorian era writers in Ireland, Scotland and Wales had their own rennaisance of the classical works of medieval celtic literature. In Ireland this revival took on an added dimension as it became associated through figures such as Yeates and Maude Gonne with the struggle for Irish Independence. Ultimately the rediscovery of classical celtic poetry and prose gave a language, a history and a nationalistic justification to the rebels.
William Butler Yeates, John Millington Synge, Oliver St.John Gogarty, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett are all renowned worldwide for their contributions to international literature. Be it on stage or in prose, they brought a poetic flavour to their art, a free flowing and lilting verse that permeates all their work. This signature blank verse gives an ancient grandeur to the literature of the period, carrying echoes of the ancient celtic poets, and redolent of Chauser and Shakespeare.
James Stephens is less well known than his compatriots, but no lesser in quality. If anything his is the purest voice of the Celtic Revival. He is easily on a par with writers such as John Milton and Edmunde Spencer, who wrote similarly high works of art.
But the beauty of Stephens is that his subject is the folklore of daily Irish life. Happy and jolly tales of leperachauns and fairies, small events of great import, the philosophy of field and wood. It is at once grand and accessible. The tales have a childlike attraction and simplicity to them that is belied by the quality of the prose.
Whether reading for a bit of fantasy, a good laugh, or to study literature, you will not regret reading these tales.
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Format: Paperback
Pure free-poetry as only Stephens can do it, these pages have informed and nourished me--along with friends and lovers--for nearly fifty years: From the time when I first happily seduced my young wife by reading Chapter VI to her...to my having now become one of the Two Philosophers who continue its argument. I was overjoyed to find this edition back in print again, with its wood-block prints and original type plates still intact. Don't miss this one.
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Format: Paperback
The book is appealing on many levels. It has fantasy,
mystery, myth and abundant humor. Most of the tales are
mythical in nature. Some are fabricated tall tales.

The writing is excellent, with rich detail expressed in
terse language. A delight from cover to cover.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my collection because it was advertised as containig "twelve full color prints by Thomas Mackenzie".
Sadly, the Mackenzie prints are absent, they are, however, listed in the front of the book under "illustrations", complete with page numbers, just no wonderful Mackenzie prints.
This is the "River City Press 1978 reprint"
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Format: Paperback
The story contained in this book is excellent, but the book itself is junk. It appears that is was visually scanned from and older and more narrowly formatted print and then pasted into this print with little to no error checking. The worst result of this is that every word that was hyphenated across two lines in the original text appears broken and hyphenated even though it is now in the middle of a line (e.g. hyphen- ated). You will also see occasional misreads such as a number 1 in place of a lowercase "L".

Find another printing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have older versions of the Crock of Gold. I bought this one as a gift for a friend. Reviewing the text, every page averaged about two incorrectly hyphenated words throughout the whole book. It seems the "publisher" just scanned a version of Crock of Gold using OCR, and then incorrectly reformatted the words into this new edition. The problem is that where the original version of the book used had hyphenated words where there was a line break, this version kept the same hyphenated words, but these words were not at a line break.

Page 1 examples: ec- stacy, crea- tures, maledic- tions, No- body, prog- nosticate. 5 words on the very first page of the book are hyphenated even though there is not a line or page break! Note that not only are the words hyphenated, they have an extra space after the hyphen. This makes trying to read this book excruciating.

Crock of Gold is an excellent book. Yet this version is worthless and should not be sold on Amazon. Do not waste your money buying this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This kindle ebook by James Stephens is the an Irish fable The Crock of Gold. Amazingly humorous, insightful and clever this is the best free kindle book in the Fantasy genre. The story begins with two philosophers who are married to two women (spitefully). The wise advice of the philosopher earns him the enmity of Leprechauns, when the crock of gold is stolen. Satiric and yet generally light you will love this inventive book.

Many very modern challenges to the human spirit are presented extremely well, The old thief's tale is poignant and sad.

Some analysis of the deeper meanings in this book are in short, a distaste for the modern era; modern ennui and angst; the limits of philosophy; an indictment of justice systems; and attacks on the loss of the Irish heritage to western fables; the value of beauty and art; the meaning of wisdom; the nature of man and woman; and the meaning of love.

Finally, you don't have to be Irish to love this story.

Spoiler but still great writing....

"In due process of time two children were born of these marriages. They were born on the same day and in the same hour, and they were only different in this, that one of them was a boy and the other one was a girl. Nobody was able to tell how this had happened, and, for the first time in their lives, the Philosophers were forced to admire an event which they had been unable to prognosticate; but having proved by many different methods that the children were really children, that what must be must be, that a fact cannot be controverted, and that what has happened once may happen twice, they described the occurrence as extraordinary but not unnatural, and submitted peacefully to a Providence even wiser than they were.
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