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The Wily O'Reilly: Irish Country Stories Audio CD – Audiobook, 4 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio; Unabridged edition (4 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427235457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427235459
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Picking up Patrick Taylor’s ‘The Wily O’Reilly’ is like being in a noisy High Street but suddenly finding oneself down a side alley in a shaded courtyard with benches to sit on. An escape from the modern world. It is a collection of the author’s monthly humorous pieces written in the 1990s and set in time some thirty years before that.
The main character throughout is the larger-than-life figure of Dr Fingal O’Reilly, GP in a small Northern Irish town. Fictional it needs to be to allow the author latitude in his story telling, but nevertheless comfortably believable enough for the armchair reader.
What sets this book apart is not so much the storylines; at the end of each episode things remain very much unchanged in the town of Ballybucklebo. It is the author’s mastery of the English language, in particular his grasp of imagery that I enjoyed the most. On several occasions I had to resort to Dictionary.com to verify obscure but perfectly apt words. A flavour of his writing:
• ‘…such suggestions were usually greeted with the enthusiasm towards an impending monsoon of those peculiar toads that live in states of total dehydration in certain deserts, only coming to full animation when the rains appear.’
• ‘He rummaged in the pocket of his rumpled jacket, produced a briar, stoked it with the enthusiasm of Beelzebub preparing the coals for an unrepentant sinner, and fired up the tobacco…’
• ‘…his cortical processes would have made the workings of a Pentium chip look like the slow grinding of an unwound grandfather clock.’
I rather wished I’d been introduced to the author via one of his novels. Reading pieces written a month apart makes for repetition. A book that is best read maybe in small chunks at bedtime.
A reminder of days long gone, never to return. Probably not a book that the younger reader will pick up with enthusiasm but fans of the author will be mightily pleased that his journal writings have been gathered together between two covers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 55 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The series is better. 18 Feb 2014
By Faye Auchenpaugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading all of Taylor's books in the O'Reilly series, this comes as a letdown. The contents were originally columns that were the basis for the series. As standalones, they are good; after reading the series, however, they seem disjointed and lacking the depth of character Taylor builds in the novels.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Series is a better read 21 Feb 2014
By MickM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hope this book is not a reader's first introduction to the characters and stories of Mr. Taylor's Irish Country books. I have enjoyed them all. As a historical precursor to the Irish Country series, the book is an interesting collection of prior columns and stories. Unfortunately, many of them read as bad puns and tired stories, and suffer from the undoubted limitations of the original publications. Read one after the other they become a bit tiresome and I am reminded of the editorial comments of editors to legal humor columns of days past who often found it necessary to remind readers, "The court found the exchange quite humorous." Maybe the court did, but it did not translate to the written page.
If you are a Taylor fan, buy the book, with a lower expectation than the Irish Country series books. If you have not read any of the other books, forgo this one for now, and read the series from the beginning. I recommend the latter course, but cannot say the same of this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If Roberson Davies Had Been a Doctor Instead of a Dramatist... 3 April 2014
By Christina Paige - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
These are the early stories that formed the basis for the Irish Country Doctor novels, and they are gems.
The narrator a long-suffering junior doctor, is an assistant to a local GP who is, to put it mildly, a character. Irascible, fond of his beer and his whiskey, Doctor Fingal O’Reilly is larger than life. He suffers fools not at all, but has God’s own compassion for the ordinary women, men and children who are his neighbors and clients.
The secret charm of Fingal O’Reilly is his vast, underlying competence. Without it, he’d be a mere blusterer. He’s had a naval career, he’s been a pugilist – and has the nose to show for it – he is widely read and is an astute practitioner of Asclepius’ art. He will stand up to anybody, recognizing and respecting only genuine authority that derives from being, despising utterly bean counters and figureheads.
The self-effacing narrator plays Doctor Watson to this choleric Holmes, passing on what the Great Man says and does, sometimes with commentary that catches you off guard and rolls you to the floor.
If you are very, very lucky, you have a relative or friend like Fingal O’Reilly. If not, you can console yourself with these stories. And be sure to read the Author’s Note, which contains such gems as, “When an Ulsterman goes to sea, strange things happen. We, after all, built the RMS Titanic.” You don’t have to be Irish yourself to love these stories, and these characters, you just have to be human.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Love all his books 9 Jun 2014
By Mary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is such an easy read. The collection of humorous articles from past medical journals are so easy to read when in a pinch for time. I love reading a story or two when I have time to steal away between chores or patients at work. Very easy to pick up and put down and not lose track of a story line as in a novel. Love his humor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Wily O'Reilly 13 Feb 2014
By GmaT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Wiley O'Reilly
A combination of charming and funny stories of Dr. Taylor and Dr. O'Reilly as Irish country doctors. Good read!
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