- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Walker & Company; 1 edition
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005DIAJC8
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,366,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change, and the Fate of the Irish Pub Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
So the cycle continues, and Long Island-born, California-residing Barich, now moved himself to Dublin, tells the tale of a slow death to civility, custom, and charm. About half his book takes place in Dublin, and he tells each chapter set there with grace and pace. He knows how to veer from his main story into anecdotes and byways before returning to his narrative, and this relation of his saga reflects well how a tale's told by a teller in a pub. He classifies the remaining pubs into trophy bars, pitched for tourists more than the neighbors and often based on their venerable status; pleasant but less distinguished corner houses; and corporate chains, which in Ireland appear to erase their "tradition" for a streamlined gentrification, even as abroad you find such enterprises as a hundred "Harrington & Sons" fake pubs saturating the Italian consumer.
Such globalization leads to Irish rejection of Guinness as an old man's heavy stout.Read more ›
Shunning anything that runs afoul (read: television and recorded music) of his pub ideal and dismissing those shops that flirt with an atmosphere that might be defined as "traditional" by most standards as prepackaged, prefabricated, Ireland-by-Disney shlock, Barich seems more interested in simply finding a pub that suits him.
Opining on how Ireland's culture is being exported while concurrently being diluted at home, the author's search seems to be more a quixotic quest that has no more chance of success than a search for Waltons Mountain or Walnut Grove. Ultimately, what he is nostalgic for in the Irish pub is rooted in a time when Ireland suffered poverty, economic stagnation and an oppressive theocracy. Would he be content to assume that baggage as part of his desire for "tradition"?Read more ›
He's in love with the movie The Quiet Man (not one of my favorites, but OK) and the chapter on the horrible disappointment that he experiences in going to Cong, where it was set, is poignant. Personally, I'm all for bars/pubs/taverns/whatever without TVs. I can appreciate that part of his search and his disappointment in finding more Americanized pubs wherever he goes. At the same time, he notes that his Irish friends don't want to go back to their childhoods of repressed, depressed 1960s and earlier Ireland either.
I'd thought that the book would be a cozy read about "fairytale Ireland," as he calls it. It was more interesting and insightful than that because he tries to figure out what to do when an ideal is receding but still present.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not schooled enough in Irish literature to comprehend much of the author's literary references (that's my failing), but I also found that the text jumps around a bit too much... Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. I. Smith
Well-written and well-researched. It's part travelogue, part history(of drinking and drinking establishments in Ireland) and part commentary on the state of the Irish pub and the... Read morePublished on August 20, 2014 by Gerry Kevil
This was an interesting book. I checked out a few of these pubs in Ireland and the descriptions were accurate. Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by D. Hurt
good story of the history of the public houses in Ireland and how society and DUI laws have changed things.Published on January 15, 2014 by Debra Mullen
Gives one a pretty good idea of the pub scene in Ireland, but sort of dragged on. As someone who's travelled to Ireland, this undervalued the great institution that the local pub... Read morePublished on October 11, 2013 by d donovan
Love this book. Informative, sad, funny, and well-written. An incisive look at the dying traditions of Irish culture. A terrible loss.Published on June 7, 2013 by A Reader
Such a good book - a masterpiece to anyone interested in pubs! It takes an outsider to clinically analyse what's been happening in the pubs of Ireland over the last fifteen years. Read morePublished on April 4, 2011 by Brian O'R