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on 26 August 2002
It is impossible not to be left overwhelmned by the sheer abject misery and hopelessness of the people in this story. It is cleverly written as it blends historical fact with a fictional family and community.
This book makes it easier to understand how over a million people were left to die and a million more emigrated, even though Ireland was actually exporting food during this period. Even though people were dying of hunger, they were still evicted onto the street for non payment of rent by landlords living in mansions; starving people were refused food by shopkeepers as they had no money to pay. One is shocked by the smallmindedness and greed of the middleclass Irish as much as the greed of the landlord class.
This book should be compulsory reading in every school in Ireland and UK as it helps to explain the political mindset that developed in post famine Ireland. It also illustrates how such a massive human tragedy was allowed to happen
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on 26 May 2000
When I bought " Famine ", suddenly I discovered suffering and hardships. Ireland was no more a country where people just go to the pub and sing in Irish just as we Bretons do in our Celtic language. Ireland became a land of passion and trials. O'Flaherty's heroes haven't their likes in literature. They may sound like Hardy's or others' but they are unique. They are what I might call " purely Irish ". They fight, they fail, they seem doomed and yet there is power in them. Besides, the whole story happens at the time of the Great Famine and sometimes it seems we are reading some kind of Titanic story, we know what is going to happen and yet there is suspense ! Powerful !
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on 23 July 2001
I bought this book last year when I was on vacation in Ireland. I simply loved it. It describes very well the history of Ireland during the period of the famine and the story is wonderful. To read in one go. Sensational.
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on 21 June 2002
A wonderful, harrowing tale of life in the West of Ireland in the period leading up to and including the Famine.Superb insight into how the people 'actually' lived during this dark period. A must!
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on 31 August 2013
By far and away it's the best novel I have Read about the famine in Ireland. My father is Irish from Mullingar and he has read it after me and said it's pretty factual, which makes it all the more satisfactory, yet heartbreaking at the same time.
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on 26 March 2015
Very good condition. Just yellowy pages showing its age, but otherwise perfect. Very pleased as this book is out of print.
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on 10 February 2016
Interesting, worth reading.
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on 8 April 2013
An ok read, I found the narrative a little simplistic, and hope that my own forebears would have had more colour to their characters than those in the story. Perhaps this is unfair, but the story didn't stay with me despite my own link to this horrific period in history. I am however, very critical of literature, due to the level of commitment needed to read in comparison say, to a film, so read yourself and decide.
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on 8 September 2014
excellent book.
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