Once, Redmond Hatch was in heaven, married to the lovely Catherine and father to enchanting daughter Immy. But then he took them both to Winterwood. And it would never be the same again…

In Patrick McCabe's spellbinding new novel, nothing—and no one—are ever quite what they seem. When Hatch, devoted husband and father, revisits the secluded mountains where he grew up, he meets Auld Pappie Ned. While he claims to be just a harmless local fiddler, a teller of tall tales, Ned sets ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (2) from $14.99   
  • Used (2) from $14.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

2007 Audio CD Good Audio Book 6 AUDIO CDs in the clamshell case, polished for your satisfaction, published by Recorded Books, withdrawn from the library collection. Library ... markings and stickers to the CDs. Some shelf wear to the box. Each audio cd is in an individual slot, protected and clear sounding. Enjoy this audio performance! Read more Show Less

Ships from: Narrowsburg, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:


Condition: Good
2007 Audio Book (CD) Good Audio Book 6 AUDIO CDs published by RECORDED BOOKS in the clamshell case withdrawn from the library collection. Some library marking and sticker to the ... box. The AUDIO CDs are in individual slots, protected and clear sounding. Enjoy this UNABRIDGED AUDIO CD performance! Read more Show Less

Ships from: Narrowsburg, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Sending request ...


Once, Redmond Hatch was in heaven, married to the lovely Catherine and father to enchanting daughter Immy. But then he took them both to Winterwood. And it would never be the same again…

In Patrick McCabe's spellbinding new novel, nothing—and no one—are ever quite what they seem. When Hatch, devoted husband and father, revisits the secluded mountains where he grew up, he meets Auld Pappie Ned. While he claims to be just a harmless local fiddler, a teller of tall tales, Ned sets off a cataclysmic chain of events in Redmond's life. From the mysterious disappearance of Redmond's daughter to the reluctant remembrance of a troubled boyhood to secret glimpses into an unstable marriage, everything soon spirals out of control. Narrated with hypnotic precision and fractured lyricism, Winterwood is a disturbing and unforgettable tale of love, death and identity from a masterful novelist.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Gregory Cowles
This is grim stuff, but no grimmer than your average Stephen King novel. Like King, McCabe knows how to invest pop culture with a sinister bathos: in his hands, My Little Pony becomes as foreboding as the dead robin that Hatch and his daughter find in the park, while ordinary chocolate bars make Hatch remember childhood abuse at the hands of an uncle. At least I think they do - McCabe is also more intense than King (or just about anyone else), and his characters are so trapped inside their own skulls that his novels can feel hermetically sealed. In the past, he’s balanced that with an appealing dark humor, but in Winterwood he settles for urgent, sustained apprehension.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Freelance writer Redmond Hatch loves his young wife, Catherine he is 40 and she is 22 when they wed in 1981 and adores his infant daughter, Imogen, but in Irish author McCabe's eighth novel (his prior work included Breakfast on Pluto and The Butcher Boy, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Redmond's happy slice of the world cruelly crumbles. A few years into wedded bliss, Redmond's wife cuckolds and then divorces him; he feigns suicide, assumes a false identity and disappears into a sad-sack life that spirals sharply downward after he reads a newspaper account of the suicide of convicted child murderer (and creepy acquaintance) Ned Strange: Redmond's suddenly haunted by nightmares and hallucinations in which Ned molests him. He stalks his former family and, in 1991, kidnaps and kills his estranged daughter, burying her in the isolated countryside their imaginary "winterwood" and visiting her grave over the next decade. Redmond, however, has yet to bottom out. Despite a fractured, hard-to-follow chronology, this tale about a man's descent into madness is both artfully repellent and hypnotically compelling. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Attempting to keep as much as possible hidden from himself (and the reader), the narrator of this strangely absorbing Irish novel changes names and lurches from memory and repression to the edge between reality and fantasy as his story gradually unfolds. Beginning as a journalist who travels to a rural area to visit an old musician named Ned Strange, narrator Redmond Hatch soon starts telling the story of his idyllic marriage to Catherine and the birth and early years of their daughter, Imogen. Then the marriage collapses, daughter and mother abandon him for reasons only hinted at, and Redmond stages a fake suicide, reemerging as Dominic. As he begins stalking his estranged family, he is haunted by the stories of the old musician, who turns out to be a child molester and killer-a fate the new Dominic may be doomed to replicate in his confused and alcoholic state. In his latest work, respected Irish author McCabe (The Butcher Boy) seems driven by the connection between the economic success story that is modern Ireland and the loss of rural tradition and a more natural if primitive lifestyle. While the novel does make for engrossing reading, figuring out what it is supposed to add up to can be difficult; certainly, it's an antidote to images of emerald hills and laughing leprechauns. Recommended for larger fiction collections.-Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
McCabe, never afraid to explore the grimmest parts of small-town Ireland, tugs the reader into an especially troubling portion of it in this novel about violation and madness. In the early 1980s Redmond Hatch was a young man with a wife, a daughter and a steady job as a reporter at a small Irish newspaper. On assignment to cover old-fashioned ways in his hometown, he meets Ned Strange, an elderly fiddler who appears to have all the salt-of-the-earth traits that make for great feature copy. But horrific things come out of Ned's mouth once he's had a few-alarming suggestions about the misdeeds that Redmond's father and uncle committed, along with jeremiads about the infidelities Ned's wife committed, and how Ned punished her for them. Later, in London, Redmond's career sputters and his increasingly violent temper drives his wife and child away; once he reads in the paper that Ned has died in prison, where he was sent after raping and killing a young boy, he's off the rails. McCabe (Call Me the Breeze, 2003, etc.) deliberately makes it difficult to discern what's fact and fiction in Redmond's narrative, the better to evoke the mental instability that seems to swallow him whole; Redmond meets Ned in his dreams, plots to kidnap his daughter, becomes an acclaimed TV documentary director, remarries and repeatedly changes his identity. Or so he says-it becomes clear that Redmond both suffered and inflicted more damage than he initially let on. A few recurring sensory details anchor the story, like the taste of chocolate or a dampness in the air; John Martyn's gentle folk song "May You Never" always seems to be playing, and it's an ominous dirge by the time McCabe's done with it. But thoseliterary feints don't keep the book from ultimately feeling like the deluded rants the novel's supposed to transcend-and by the closing pages, McCabe seems to be going for shock effect. Unremittingly bleak-provokes a reaction but ultimately feels hollow. Agent: Marianne Gunn O'Connor/Marianne Gunn O'Connor Literary Agency
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781428149465
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/29/2007
  • Format: CD

Meet the Author

Patrick McCabe was born in Ireland in 1955. His novels include The Butcher Boy, winner of the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize and made into a highly acclaimed film directed by Neil Jordan, and Breakfast On Pluto, published in 1998, also on the Booker Prize shortlist. He lives in Sligo with his wife and two daughters.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


A Novel


Copyright © 2006 Patrick McCabe
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59691-163-5

Chapter One

My Journey Westward, My Old Mountain Home

It was the autumn of 1981 and I'd been asked by my paper the Leinster News to do an article on folklore and changing ways in Ireland, a chance I jumped at, availing myself of the opportunity to return home to Slievenageeha, which I hadn't been to visit in years.

And was more than glad that I did, as it happened, for quite unexpectedly it turned out to be festival week, with a ceilidh starting up as I drove into town. On a crude platform in the square a slap-bass combo was banging away goodo, with a whiskery old-timer sawing at his fiddle, stomping out hornpipes to beat the band. He must have been close on seventy years of age, with a curly copper thatch and this great unruly rusty beard touched throughout with streaks of silver. He slapped his thighs and whooped and catcalled, encouraging anyone who knew it to join in the 'traditional come-all-you'!

Who, by the looks of things, weren't exactly a multitude - in fact, nobody at all seemed to know the words. Presumably because prosperity had begun to take hold of the valley with such ballads being perceived now as somewhat out of date. There was no shortage, however, ofspirited shouts of approval:

-Good man, Ned! You never lost it!

-He's a good one, Auld Pappie, make no mistake!

As the band cheered and chorded along merrily, the lyrics sailing out over the tall pine trees:

Well don't we look sweet as here we both lie My partner for ever just him and I Like lovers betrothed in the cold stony clay From peep of the sun until the end of the day.

In keeping with the 'good old days' theme, everyone had dressed up in britches and brogues, with not a modern conveyance in sight, nothing but a motley assortment of charabancs and carts. There were livestock shows and cattle auctions, horse-pulling contests and a poultry competition. A woman in a bonnet offered to sell me 'the choicest' free-range eggs. I thanked her profusely but politely declined, regretting it somewhat, I have to say, when she mentioned my father. She told me she'd known him well.

-Ah yes! she said. Auld Daddy Hatch - sure we all knew each other, back in those days!

I met the old fiddler by chance later on. His face was livid-red now and I watched him as he flung the instrument on the table with undisguised disdain. He told me he'd been drinking all day. I asked him would he consider being interviewed for the paper? He said yes - on one condition. I would have to play host with a 'clatter of drinks'.

I readily agreed as he regarded me intently through narrow, suspicious eyes. When I was ordering, the barman shook my hand and heartily welcomed me to Slievenageeha. I told him I'd been born here and was overjoyed to be back.

-It's always nice to welcome our own, he said cheerily, before adding: And I see you've already met Auld Pappie - the wild and woolly rascal from the hills!

-I have indeed, I said, and what a fine musician he is! He handed me the drinks and laughed.

-Oh, he's a musician all right - but then, of course, he'd be a fiddler by nature! Ha ha!

When I asked him what he meant he tossed back his head and told me he was only joking. Adding with a conspiratorial wink as I turned to go:

-Just be careful of them auld stories of his. You wouldn't know whether to believe them or not. He's an awful man once he gets going. Tells everyone he spent years in America. And sure the poor auld fucker - he's never once left the valley. Never set foot outside Slievenageeha. Now, there's your drinks, welcome home and thanks very much!

As soon as I came back to join my companion with the drinks, I could tell that he had been listening to every word we'd said.

-Don't mind that barman, he snorted as I sat down, sure the poor auld fool is fucking doting. He's not from the mountain at all, in fact. He's not one of us. Fuck him and ride his wife, Redmond. Ha ha. Cheers! Slainte mhaith, a mhic og an chnoic! Failte abhaile.

To your good health, young son of the mountain. Welcome home.

We remained in the pub until well after closing time and then he invited me up to his house - if that's what you'd call it. It took us nearly half an hour to get there, winding our way up a rugged hilly track, pushing our way through a plantation of firs, through tangled copsewood and green depths of fern. Eventually arriving at a tumbledown shack, evidently constructed from any materials that happened to be at hand. Random tufts of grass sprouted wildly from its roof.

When we got inside, he lit a candle and pressed it down into the middle of the table. A silhouette began forming ever so slowly on the wall. He chucked the cork from the whiskey with his teeth, throwing me this odd look as he spat it away, locating, at length, two filthy mugs.

-So you're Daddy Hatch's son. Well, isn't that a good one! he said, lighting up a 'stogie', planking himself down in the creaking rocking chair.

-He was a great man for the cards, your father. Him and Florian, that brother of his. Like a lot of men from about the valley, it was hard to tell the pair of them apart. It be's hard for strangers trying to do that - tell us menfolk one from the other, with our great big beards and red curly heads. Some says that we does it on purpose, take refuge behind our close-knit tribe so nobody can ever get blamed - for the wicked things we get up to sometimes. Like your father, for example, God bless us but he gave that poor mother of yours an awful life. Matter of fact, I seen him kicking her one night. Hitting her a kick right up the backside, and Florian there doing nothing, only laughing his head off, on account of she didn't bring him his drink quick enough. And then, be the hokey, what do you know but she goes and dies and her still a young woman! Not that he went kind of odd or anything like that. Oh no. We're made of much hardier stuff than that about here. Anyhow it meant he could devote all his time now entirely to the cards. Isn't that right, Mr Hatch?

He tapped his foot and looked at me, twinkling. I didn't answer him. I was much too taken aback by his forthrightness.

-You'll see a lot of changes, Redmond, he said, it ain't like the old place any more.

I coughed, with a ridiculously incongruous politeness. Partly, I have to admit, to disguise my inadequacy. I had been so long away, I was at a loss to make any kind of proper response.

-There certainly have been a lot of changes, I agreed, now that we're entering the modern world, I suppose.

He nodded as he continued rocking to and fro. Said nothing for some considerable time. Then he elevated his stocky bulk and said:

-I want to tell you something and I want you to remember this, Redmond, my friend.

He stared directly at me.

-The mountain doesn't go away. It doesn't go away - you hear?

He stiffened sharply, his brows knitting tensely.

-You hear? he repeated. I'm talking to you - what's wrong, are you deaf?

He flicked the stogie as he continued obsessively:

-Once upon a time, Redmond. There was this woman. The old woman. The old woman, what was she doing? She was sitting in her cabin. Sitting in her cabin late one night. A simple little homestead the very same as this, doing her knitting and sitting in the chair. Just rocking away like I'm doing now. Then all of a sudden she heard it. She heard the noise. At first she thought: It's nothing, I'll think no more about it. But then what happened, she heard it again. She heard it again, Redmond. Then looked up and saw it standing there. She saw its shadow first, you see, then slowly looked up and saw it standing before her. Standing right there before her - staring down. Looking at her with these two dead eyes. There was no feeling in them, Redmond. They were dead, them eyes. You know what they were like? Two black holes. Like two black holes bored right into its skull. It wasn't a human being, Redmond. It was a creature. A thing that had come creeping around there that night. Them was hard times, Redmond. That's how it was in these rural places - and you know it. Them memories, they don't just up and walk away. You reckon them memories just get up and walk?

I wasn't sure what to say. I just shook my head and stared blankly at the floor, swirling the colourless liquor in my mug.

-No, I replied.

-That's right, Redmond, he went on, they don't. They last as long as them fucking pine trees. Till there's frost in hell, Redmond. Did you hear me singing that verse today?

Before I could respond, his fiddle had appeared as if by magic and the bow was sweeping up and down as he scraped:

How long will we lie here O Lord who can tell? Till the winter snow whitens the high hills of hell. Till the winter snow whitens the high hills of hell!

He flung the instrument away and spat disdainfully:

-That's right. That's how long. That's how long - and don't you forget it! Don't you forget it, Redmond Hatch!

A crooked branch tapped softly against the window. The tobacco smoke wafted desultorily in the silence, floating past the black glass pane. We sat there surrounded by swarming shadows, which seemed to lunge forward before retreating once more, as if in the throes of some nether-worldly game.

He said that he'd tell me anything I wanted to know. There was nothing he didn't know about the valley, he said.

-Ned's the boy who knows his history, he insisted, for he's been here longer than any of the bastards. Ever since Old God's time, he laughed. I went to school with your father and your Uncle Florian. Florian thought he was the toughest customer going. He was in a knife fight once. That's where he got the scar on his cheek. And do you know who it was that gave it to him? Do you know who it was who gave him that scar, Red?

He turned his finger into his chest.

-Muggins, he snorted, swelling with mirth.

He used many phrases familiar to me from my childhood.

-Fucking muggins, he laughed again, before rising from the chair and looming over me.

-I made this myself, he told me, liberally refilling our mugs with a flourish, genuine 'clear' from Slievenageeha Mountain. That's what me and your daddy used to call it. Your father, by cripes, I never seen a man hardier. He'd have supped that clear till it streamed out his ears. Here - help yourself to another drop there, Redmond! By the time we've got a good drunk on us there'll be more crack in this valley than the night I pissed on the electric fence!

I did as he said. And, boy, was Ned right. That old clear, it went slipping down a treat. As he observed whilst weaving his way back from the dresser:

-It tasted so nice that it tasted like more! It tasted like more, Redmond!

So much more, in fact, that I didn't manage to make it home at all. All I remember is standing there with him outside the cabin, as we gazed far down into the valley below where the skeletal girders of the new shopping mall were starkly outlined against the spreading night sky. He told me about the proposed motorway.

-They're even talking about a casino, he said, The Gold Club they're gonna call it. I'm thinking they're getting above their raising, my friend. Anyhow, it'll never happen.

-Haw! he grunted, Haw! and slapped me resoundingly across the back.

I staggered blearily, but contentedly, back down the winding track, calling Catherine from the phone box in the town and stammering out some laughable excuse. I realised afterwards, of course, that I needn't have bothered my head being worried. There was absolutely no need to be making up excuses. Not in those days. For Catherine and me, we had been getting on like a house on fire. You could tell by the sound of her voice that she wasn't perturbed in the least. Just so long as I was enjoying myself, she said. That was all she cared about.

-I'm glad you went, I heard her say, I've always felt it's something you needed to do, go back to Slievenageeha, your old mountain home.

-Thanks, sugar lips, I said, blowing a kiss down the phone.

'Sugar lips' was one of our private and intimate exchanges. I know it sounds corny but we kind of loved it.

When I got back to the house, Ned was standing with his fiddle at the ready.

-'The Pride of Erin'! he cried out and began vigorously fingering a soaring jig, bellowing with gusto: 'Round the flure and shift the dresser!'

-More clear? I asked him, grinning like a half-idiot, with a down-home casualness, entirely unconvincing.

I was still pretty unsteady as I stood beside him with the bottle.

-May the giving hand never falter - a gentleman and a scholar is what you are, Redmond! A son of your father's - a bucking son of your father's!

When I looked again the moon had disappeared, faded into a shining silver sun.

* * *

After that, I began to visit the valley regularly. I'd be so eager to get out of the city on Fridays, looking forward to more of Ned's stories about life in the valley and the days of long ago. There seemed to be no end to his tales, each one wilder than the next. There were stories about card playing, drink-binging and women, cattle raids and horse racing and ceilidhs that had gone on for weeks. You definitely, at times, did get the impression that he was making them up as he went along.

I always seemed to arrive when he was in the middle of feeding his chickens. He had ten or eleven Buff Orpingtons he kept in a coop. There was nothing the kids from the new estates liked better than to be allowed up there, to have a yarn with good old 'Pappie', and keep him company as he fed his fowl. Especially little Michael Gallagher, the happy-go-lucky fellow with the freckles who was forever singing.

-I'm the bestest friend of Ned, he used to say to me.

The mothers and fathers were crazy about Ned. They were 'cracked about him', you'd hear them saying. Especially the mothers. They said he was 'a tonic', and 'terrific with the kids'. Absolutely great to have around the place.

The most recent development was his teaching of the fiddle. Everyone I spoke to was over the moon about that too. I interviewed a few of the mothers and they told me that as far as they were concerned having characters like Ned in the community was a great way for their children to find out about an Ireland that was fast disappearing - if not, indeed, practically vanished already.

You'd see him strolling about the place laughing, nodding to the parents as he whistled some jig. Or chatting away with them, spinning them some yarn, as they left their kids in for 'Ned's children's ceilidh'. He ran that now in the schoolhouse at weekends. He'd have known most of the old families, of course. Could roll off their names at the drop of a hat. They absolutely loved the way he talked, all these phrases you only heard in old-time speech. Half-forgotten proverbs only dimly remembered. All Ned had to do was say something like:

-I met Auld Quirke on his way up the road and he'd a face on him, ladies, like an ass eating thistles!

And, without exception, he'd have them laughing like lunatics, wetting themselves, practically. They just couldn't get enough of Ned Strange's conversation.

-You can't beat Auld Pappie, you'd hear them say, a card and no mistake. What would Slievenageeha be like without him? A very, very dull place indeed, whatever progress we might make in the future.

They'd always wave as they went driving past.

-There he is - our own Auld Pappie!

As Ned looked up from his chickens and smiled. It really was an appropriate name: Auld Pappie.

As Ned fed his chickens and whistled his jigs, the perfect picture of contented old age.

In a way I suppose it was as if he himself were some kind of noble, immovable, magisterial mountain, which seemed to have existed, literally, for centuries. Long before progress of any kind began.

-Since the very first of the angels got chased, as he might have put it himself, since the very first angel was fucked out of heaven!

Now and then it would occur to me that something he'd said - or the manner in which he'd said it - somehow just didn't seem to fit. That he'd been trying too hard to impress me or something. Sometimes he'd even mimic my accent to my face. Other times there'd be this look - I didn't like it. It made me feel queasy, ill-at-ease.

There was one particular evening - I find it humiliating to recall. He rested his chin on his hand and pulled his chair up next to mine. Then grinned.


Excerpted from WinterWood by PATRICK McCABE Copyright © 2006 by Patrick McCabe . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)