This book was a gift from a relative in ireland, I had said the last time I was there that I wish I could take him back to Kuwait with me so that I could listen to him tell me the history of Ireland. So in 2005 he sent me this book with a little note saying that since he could not come, Malachy McCourt will do just fine. And he was right.
This book will give you the history of Ireland in snapshots of the most important people, places and historical events. The author starts with Ireland before St. Patrick and continued until Mary Robinson and Bertie Ahern. The tone of the book is very beautiful. I keep seeing myself sitting near a fireplace or in a pub listening to a very good storyteller. This is a book that people of Irish decent would want to read, and perhaps read from to their children and they won’t be bored. How do I know that? I had a bunch of kids at my apartment two months ago that I was supposed to keep an eye on, needless to say it was chaos. So I asked them all to sit down and I started to read a few of the chapters on the more heroic characters in Ireland like Brian Boru and Turlough O’ Connor. The children were entertained AND they learned some history.
Is this a scholarly book? No, is it factual, absolutely. McCourt himself says that this book is not meant to be scholarly nor is he qualified to write one. It is a storyteller’s book who happens to be delivering the history of his country. A very enjoyable read.