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The Western Island, or Great Blasket (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – 9 Mar 1978

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (9 Mar. 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192812343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192812346
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.9 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 696,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In my view this is the best book about the Blasket Islands written by an 'outsider'. The author's feeling for the Island and its people is clear, transcending mere scholarly interest in Gaelic culture and language - this especially shown by the poems (his own) which are interspersed with the narrative - and also by the fact that his ashes were subsequently scattered on the Island hills. The book is both descriptive and reflective, with the author's deep knowledge of Irish history and literary culture brought to bear (in his work he was both translator and scholar). The Islanders had a culture, a way of speaking, a mythic world-view so different to our own secularised 'Western' view. Without prejudice, though, Flower describes and relates their myths and superstitions, and the stories about fairies and the 'other world' that he hears from the Islanders - indeed they become plausible in his way of telling. Yet Flower's narrative is always *situated* - in this place and with these people, joining with their interests, their work, their griefs and pleasures, the rigours of subsisting off sea and land - living `under the mercy of the world'. Certainly, the book meanders, ebbing and flowing like the sea around the islands, but Flower has an eye for the dramatic or the poignant moment - and the skill to depict such moments. The solemn procession of islanders to bury a new-born child, or the scrum of "wild-haired children" in the King's kitchen awaiting a handout of sweets, or the group of folk one evening reflecting on their own mortality, drawing on their "rich store of proverbs". And as each scene unfolds you are back there on the Island, such is the power of the narrative.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book arrived as promised. Delighted with the condition of the book. It will now rest in my own Library. !! I have also dealt with this Company in the past. What they say on the condition of their Book , is exactly what you get. Highly recommend this Company to would be buyers.
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Format: Paperback
A classic - enjoyable and informative. Rambling in parts and I wanted some photos to supplement the line drawings, but overall an interesting book that is worth having.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely fascinating. Excellent seller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have ever visited Ireland or want to discover ... 13 Aug. 2016
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have ever visited Ireland or want to discover the "voice" of this island then this book is for you. Lovely, lovely writing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost life 5 Jan. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reprint this please! Life out loud!
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