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An Innocent in Ireland: Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters

Overview

When writer David McFadden sets out on a tour of Ireland, he is determined to so do in a relatively innocent state. Using as a guide only In Search of Ireland, a 1930 title by travel writer H. V. Morton, he plans to follow the same route, to try to determine how things have changed and how they have remained the same.

This he proceeds to do – at least at first. But soon he is wandering more and more erratically around the country, poking into any corner and musing over any sight...

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Overview

When writer David McFadden sets out on a tour of Ireland, he is determined to so do in a relatively innocent state. Using as a guide only In Search of Ireland, a 1930 title by travel writer H. V. Morton, he plans to follow the same route, to try to determine how things have changed and how they have remained the same.

This he proceeds to do – at least at first. But soon he is wandering more and more erratically around the country, poking into any corner and musing over any sight that takes his fancy – from a cozy guest house in Kilcullen to the legendary Hill of Tara, from the south-coast pub run by twin sisters to the windswept reaches of the Ballaghbeama Gap. And increasingly he is drawn to the prehistoric monuments of ancient Ireland. As he goes, he records his very personal impressions in a clear-eyed and wryly humorous way.

Wisely, McFadden also lets the many characters he meets speak for themselves; he loves a good chat and he gives ample space to the various loquacious barmen, shopkeepers, hoteliers, and passersby along the way. And of all the eccentric and appealing characters that he encounters, one of the most intriguing is his travelling companion, the mysterious Spanish chambermaid and poet Lourdes Brasil.

Amusing, quirky, compassionate but unsentimental, An Innocent in Ireland is a treat for any armchair traveller.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Ireland is ancient, magical, and odd, and obviously David McFadden’s spiritual home. Join him on a wonderful journey.”
–Paul Quarrington

“What a wonderful, wonderful book! David McFadden’s humour, erudition, curiosity, his poet’s loving eye, his devotion to every moment and setting in which he finds – himself all these great rare gifts are here in spades. I have been to Ireland, I have written about Ireland, I have family in Ireland! And now that I have read An Innocent in Ireland I have at long last seen the place.”
–Barbara Gowdy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780771055270
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David W. McFadden has published over twenty books of poetry and prose, including Gypsy Guitar, nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1987 and The Art of Darkness, nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1984. He lives in Toronto.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An Innocent in Ireland is one of my favorite books about Ireland

    I have read many books about Ireland to prepare myself for a visit there this year. This one was a very enjoyable read. McFadden tells the story about how he toured Ireland and goes into depth on the many stone tributes from prehistoric times. He shared my interest and awe about these ancient structures, and speculates about what they mean and why they were built. He wonders how they got there in a time before machines. What dedication the builders must have had to manage that feat. It is not a comprehensive book about all the sites a tourist should visit in Ireland, nor does it try to be. There are dozens of other books that do that. Instead he shares his conversations with locals who had studied the stones and made me want to look up these same folks for a good talk. The book was about 15 years old when I read it, but these monuments have been there for thousands of years, so the information is not terribly dated. I recommend that anyone who wants to visit Ireland read this book prior to their trip.

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