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In Search of the Craic: One Man's Pub Crawl Through Irish Music Paperback – 1 Jul 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch Ltd; New edition edition (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023300095X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233000954
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 745,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'It's often said that performers in Ireland 'have the music'; Irwin has the words, and he uses them beautifully throughout.' -- Record Collector, December 2004 issue

About the Author

Colin Irwin has been writing about music for over 25 years for publications as diverse as Melody Moker, the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times. He's been a tv and radio presenter for BBC2 and BBC Radio 2 presenting 'Acoustic Roots'. Previous publications include The Abba Storv and Dire Straits.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The synopsis scarcely does justice to the seriously hilarious, yet also genuinely informative tales told during an eventful trip around Ireland. Anybody who enjoyed McCarthy's Bar or Going Round Ireland With A Fridge will lap this up as the author goes on a pub crawl of music venues with his long-suffering wife. His descriptions of the people he meets along the way are very entertaining, from the tramp in the street singing In The Ghetto with him to the spoons player who kept interrupting a fiddle concert. I was laughing out loud on many occasions reading it, though parts of it are poignant, and quite telling as he reflects on the changes in Ireland in recent times, not all of it for the better. It also tells you a lot about music in Ireland - and its history comes to life in some of the characters portrayed. His obsession with the song Fields Of Athenry is also quite funny. He talks to various famous people like Bono, Sinead O'Connor and Shane MacGowan, but it's the old characters he encounters I like best. He's on a quest to find the ultimate night of the craic and right at the end he seems to find it in a pub that only opens on a Thursday night! It's hardly an original concept to write about travelling around Ireland but few have done it more entertainingly than this. It's a great read for anyone who likes colourful travelogues but you might end up wanting to buy a load of traditional Irish records too.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is both a fascinating and hugely enjoyable trip around Ireland's many pubs and the interesting people he encounters on the way.
Colin Irwin has so many funny and sometimes poignant anecdotes to tell. He obviuosly has an infinity with the country and its people and this comes across very well in this book.
This is certainly one of the best books I've read this year. Recommended!!
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By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of Irish music and travel writing I really wanted to enjoy this book. Alas I was to be disappointed. Colin Irwin is not a funny writer. His anecdotes have no punchline, he appears to have little sense of comic rhythm or timing and his attempts at running jokes are desperately laboured in a way that makes you think he's inserted them with a crowbar.
Irritating mistakes also detract - misnaming Shane MacGowan's "Broad Majestic Shannon" as "Wild Majestic Shannon", and the persistent misspelling of Ciaran Bourke's name are just two grating errors that should have been ironed out during the editing process. There is however much terrific information about the music of Ireland. Colin is a great music writer - did the publisher only agree to publish this book if there were jokes in it after the success of Pete McCarthy's and Tony Hawks' offerings?
Comic travel writing is a rare skill with which Colin Irwin has not been blessed. If he'd presented a more serious journey through Irish music it would have worked far better (cf: Ciaran Carson's "Last Night's Fun"): there is much humour in the music and musicians that would have shone through anyway. Here they are lost among tortuous jokes and half-regurgitated interviews from up to twenty years earlier.
But hey, that's just my opinion. And I still finished reading the book - if it had been *really* bad I'd have given up...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much like the previous reviewer, I bought this book in great anticipation as I am of Irish descent and a great fan of all Irish music. I too, persevered to the very end of the book, as the subject matter (irish music) is by definition compelling. I have to say that I completely agree that the humour was flat, often not funny and seldom well constructed. I think the author is trying to repeat the "McCarthy's Bar" formula, but Peter McCarthy he is not - that book was "laugh-out-loud" funny if you want a humorous book about traipsing round Ireland. If you want to know more about Irish music I don't think this book is worth the effort.
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