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The Hounds of the Morrigan (Puffin Books) Paperback – 9 Jul 1987


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; New edition edition (9 July 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140322078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140322071
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.2 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,160,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pat O'Shea was born in Galway in 1931. She was educated at the Presentation National School and then at the Convent of Mercy Secondary School in Galway.

She has always written and thought that to be a good writer a person should first of all be a good reader; and that development as a writer is greatly stimulated by the admiration and enjoyment felt for the work of other people. The children's author she enjoyed most was John Masefield.

Pat O'Shea was awarded a British Arts Council Drama Bursary in 1967 and had four one-act plays produced by the Library Theatre Company in Manchester. With a group of other writers she worked on a comedy show for Granada Television called Flat Earth and has had a short story broadcast on BBC radio.


Product Description

Review

If you loved Harry Potter, try this book. (Publishers Weekly)

If you want fantasy proper, the huge, enjoyable quest book, packed with invention, foul evil versus good, you're in luck, for such a work is The Hounds of the Morrigan. (The Observer)

This is a most remarkable book (School Librarian)

A most magical book. (Irish Times)

A treat. (The Observer) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

New edition with new cover --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Booksthatmatter on 27 May 2003
Format: Paperback
An avid reader of children's fiction both for myself and to my children, I was bowled over by this random find. I've never seen the book before or heard of the author, but wow! It has a dramatic and driven narrative, a deep footing in ancient mythology but without any Tolkeinian long windedness and a swift humour. The author is a little like Diana Wynne Jones in theme and the fabulously evil 'witch' women are worthy of her, but it is unfair to draw parallels as the author has a unique and idiosyncratic voice. Easily one of the freshest books I've read recently, and one I will certainly read again.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Hayley MacDonald on 14 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when my father bought it for me, about 15 years ago. I think I must have been around eleven. I remember taking it to school in my first year of secondary school and making the english teacher take it home to read!
I have worshipped it ever since. Its so descriptive and involving, it takes you along on this big adventure and you really feel you are with the characters , pidge and bridget. It strikes just the right balance between thrills and humour and makes you believe there is really a land called Tir-na-nog.
I must have read the book every year, and even though Im 26 now, no other book has come close. I would really recommend this book to all parents and kids alike. My book is so battered that I am going to buy a new one, and I am really looking forward to reading the story to my future children.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Miss Nightingale on 30 April 2009
Format: Paperback
I first read this when I was a young gal with her head full of adventures and, now aged 35 (still with a head full of adventures!), have been obsessed with it ever since. I loaned this to my stepfather who devoured it as quickly as I had and it remains one of his favourites, too. An absolutely spellbinding story that has you hooked from the very first paragraph, one can easily see how this magical tome was 10 years in the writing. The mythology is fascinating and made me seek out more, the characters just leap from the page and the mixture of dark, laugh-out-loud humour and heart-stopping malevolence stays with you long after you have finished reading. The final pages leave me with tears rolling down my face and the urge to start reading it again straight away. I loved it so much that I sat down and wrote a letter to the author, thanking her and asking her to please write a sequel - surely these characters should live on?!

I was sad to read a couple of years ago that Pat had died. I'd never sent that silly letter and I wish I had. The following is from her obituary in The Guardian newspaper:

"By 1982 the book was about two-thirds written, and Pat decided to submit it to publishers. On six occasions it came back within two to three weeks, clearly untouched. Then a friend suggested she send it to the Oxford University Press. "Finish it and we'll publish," said OUP, and in October 1985 The Hounds of the Morrigan was duly published, and Pat was amused to find herself, over 50 and in poor health, a best-selling author much in demand and translated into five languages.

The few brilliant chapters of the unfinished sequel are almost worth publishing alone: a Christmas card scene, candelit shop windows, carol singers and a robin... and into this cheerful scene rides the great Irish witch the Morrigan with her wild sisters, bringing mayhem and magic and mischief.

· Patricia Mary Shiels, writer, born January 22 1931; died May 3 2007"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S>J>Parker on 20 May 2003
Format: Paperback
This is my number one favourite book for children and adults alike. I don't understand why it's not up there in the top ten of all time greatest,it needs to be.
The story is a wonderful re-telling of Irish legends, brought to life with humour and realism and interwoven with the magic which makes you remember what it's like to be a child, when anything is possible.
The characters are unforgettable, and some hilarious. Pudendeen the frog is the most endearing and comical character in children's literature, and I defy anyone not to laugh out loud at his madness.
I first read this book in the '80's when my children were young, and I still re-read it from time to time because it really does have a timeless quality to it. Buy it and enjoy! It's just fantastic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AngryLittleCreature on 10 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was about ten and at the grand old age of 30-something, I still find myself being drawn back to it on a regular basis. I will admit that at the age of ten, I started it a couple of times before it grabbed me, but with hindsight, I think I can safely say it is because the first few introductory pages read very differently from the rest of the book. By the end of Chapter One, it had me completely ensnared and I loved everything about it. O'Shea describes things beautifully; so clearly, you really believe you can see, hear and smell everything. I enjoyed the relationship between Brigit and Pidge, the sense of nostalgia O'Shea creates, the use of Irish mythology, the people and animals they encountered on their journey, the humour and the "realness" of it. Yes, I know it's a fantasy novel, but bear with me! Something about the way Pidge is described and thinks through situations struck me as being very real and something I could identify with when I was small. He is excited about the prospect of adventure, but scared of what he may encounter and the responsibility he has for his sister. They are both charmingly naive in places and as a parent myself now, I find this even more endearing. Their relationship struck me as natural and genuine and something you could expect to find in real life. Over 20 years after I first read it, I find this story to be pure escapism and I cannot wait for my daughter to be old enough to read it. I only hope she enjoys it as much as I did, because I can honestly say that I feel my life is richer for having read it.
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