The Feast is a modern translation of Fled Bricrend, one of Ireland's most thrilling and humorous legends. Three men, each striving to be named Champion of Conchobor's realm, enter into a battle of wits and words in an effort to enjoy the privileges accorded to the national champion. As the heroic competition unfolds, visits to and from the otherworld threaten to unmask the true nature of the gathering. and ...
The Feast is a modern translation of Fled Bricrend, one of Ireland's most thrilling and humorous legends. Three men, each striving to be named Champion of Conchobor's realm, enter into a battle of wits and words in an effort to enjoy the privileges accorded to the national champion. As the heroic competition unfolds, visits to and from the otherworld threaten to unmask the true nature of the gathering. and at the center remains Bricriu, god of mischief and creator of the most delicious and devilish banquet the world has ever seen.
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Continuing his expansive retelling of the ancient Irish epic of Cuchulainn begun in The Raid (Forge, 1997), Eickhoff spotlights the swashbuckling and humorous tale of the feast of Fled Bricriu, god of mischief. Traversing between this and the "otherworld," three of Ireland's great mythic heroes enter into a battle of wits, swords, and elements to be named Champion of Conchobor of Nessa's realm in Ulster and win the accompanying privileges. As the competition unfolds, Bricriu sends them on a rollicking quest. What Eickhoff's modern retelling loses in poetic form it more than makes up for in colorful, lively prose, complete with a glossary that does much to enhance understanding of the historical context. Predating Sir Gaiwain and the Green Knight, this portion of the epic Ulster Cycle has been known since the eighth century. Readers of mythology and lovers of the richness that is Irish literature will find this modern retelling accessible and most entertaining.--Susan Gene Clifford, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA
Historical storyteller Eickhoff turns out tight, compellingly grand novels, most recently the story of Cùchulainn, the greatest hero of Irish literature (The Raid, 1997), and, with coauthor Leonard C. Lewis, a masterful retelling of the life of Big Jim Bowie (Bowie, 1998). Now he returns to the Boy-Warrior Cùchulainn and picks up where The Raid left off. Like The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Raid and The Feast spring from bardic oral traditions dating back to 800 b.c., the Irish sagas having later been transcribed by monks. Eickhoff's recensions of the Ulster Cycle are taken from an 11th-century transcription containing the main stories of the cycle, including "Cattle Raid of Cooley" and "Bricriu's Feast" and telling of Iron Age Celtic culture as Cùchulainn's warriors fight for their rightful land. The best-known tales (many were lost) are about Cùchulainn's father, Conchobar, while others bear hints of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; the trickster Bricriu echoes the Norse trickster Loki. Eickhoff's translation from a nearly dead language offers a window into the past and reveals to Ireland today the values of its progenitors. Coming clearly through Eickhoff's his rolling periods is a raw sensuality suggesting that Irishmen in the dim past, like those today, could talk up a fearfully heady storm of words streaming with nose-catching rose-oil, all the while allowing for plenty of tugging and tumbling into rumpled sheets. A fine retelling of an ancient Irish saga. .
Randy Lee Eickhoff holds several graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in Classics. He lives in El Paso, Texas where he works on translations in several languages, poetry, plays, and novels of which two have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His translation of Ireland's national epic is now a text in not only schools in the United States, but countries overseas as well. His nonfiction work on the Tigua Indians, Exiled, won the Southwest History Award. He has been inducted into the Paso Del Norte Writers Hall of Fame, the local chapter of the Texas Institute of Arts and Letters. He spends his time in El Paso, Ireland, and Italy, lecturing on Dante and The Ulster Cycle.