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The Bogman Paperback – 7 Mar 1998
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From the author of Seek the Fair Land, The Scorching Wind and The Silent People --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Walter Macken was born in Galway in 1915. He was a writer of short stories, novels and plays. Originally an actor, principally with the Taibhdhearc in Galway, and The Abbey Theatre, he played lead roles on Broadway in M. J. Molloy's The King of Friday's Men and his own play Home Is the Hero. He also acted in films, notably in Arthur Dreifuss' adaptation of Brendan Behan's The Quare Fellow. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy of Irish historical novels Seek the Fair Land, The Silent People and The Scorching Wind. He passed away in 1967. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Written in 1950's Ireland this book perfectly portrays the prejudices, and begrudgery, prevalent throughout small-town Ireland at the time.
His Grand-father is a tyrant and a bully, who threw his daughter out when she became pregnant outside of marriage. She later died and her son returns to live with his grand-father as he is the only family he has.
A life of hard work and lack of excitement soon follows, until the Grand-father accepts the offer of an arranged marriage for his grand-son to a woman old enough to be his mother.
Understandably this turns out to be a disaster for both parties and leads to much bitterness and destructive emotions on all sides.
Eventually Cahal( the orphan and main character) rebels against his Grand-dad and hits back one day when the older man strikes him, flattening him in the process.
The same neighbours who encouraged him to stand up to his grand-father, then shun him and criticize him for it.
Cahal finds out that his REAL father was a Tinker(gypsy), and encourages him to visit and brings him into his home( much to the dismay and embarrassment of his wife( what would the neighbours say?!!).
In Ireland then and still the case today this revelation would be the talking point of rural communities for years to come.
As time goes on Cahal and his wife grow to despise each other more and more, and he continues to make enemies of his neighbours by making up songs ridiculing them and showing them he does not fear them.
Eventually he meets and falls in love with Maire, who initially hated him but grew to love him.
Villages in these times of low mechanization used to help with each others harvest to ensure speedy work and the collective effort would be reciprocated by each neighbour in turn until all the harvesting in the village would be complete. When it comes to Cahal's turn, the village shuns him except for the lovely Maire, leaving them to do the work together, with only the help of the man who supplied the hire of the threshing machine.
With Cahal working like a man possessed with Maire, almost have the work completed a terrible accident occurs when Maire loses a hand to the machine. The neighbours hear her chilling screams but they along with cahal's wife remain behind their closed doors, and collective ignorance.
After this Cahal becomes an ever increasingly lonely figure, full of terrible rage that matches his huge strength and the black, gypsy looks of his father.
He continues to alienate himself from his neighbours with more songs and because of their collective stance against him, want to run him out of the village so he cannot remind them of their inadequacies, failures, and accumulative cowardice.
When Maire returns home from hospital and rehabilitation, they plan to elope together just as the village rise as one and a mass of bodies turn up at his door to run him out of the area.
He fights his way through them and with Maire escapes to a life together and an unknown future, helped to their getaway by the arrival of his tinker father complete with horse and cart.
This is a great book that captures fully the small-mindedness of small town ireland, that although not as strongly evident today, still exists in rural communities.
Strong emotions flow throughout this book, love, anger, hate, bitterness, resentment, they're all here and more. It also shows that even seemingly dull, cowardly people can be dangerous when united as a group.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Bit of an eye opener for one who came from the city .
I liked the book .Its well written with a nice romance thrown in .
Think you would have to be Irish though to understand the language..