Series: Keane, John B. | Publication Date: October 2000
From one of Ireland’s favorite writers and most popular storytellers, a stockingful of Christmas surprises for any season. In this winning collection of seventeen original tales, John B. Keane plumbs the rich folk culture of Ireland as he portrays the holiday dreams and everyday shortcomings of ordinary country people during the Christmas season. Delightfully, and frequently sardonic, he casts his knowing eye on the foibles of Irish humanity and reveals the intelligences behind them with shrewdness and compassion. The skillfully related stories in Keane’s congenial volume introduce the reader to the amusing particulars of the Christmases celebrated by characters like Dotie Tupper and Johnny Naile and the doughty Canon Doyle who, in one tale, routs the scoundrels intent on detaching the collection box from its place on the church wall and, in another, employs modern electronics to rehabilitate a fellow parish priest. In the process, Doyle comes to some surprising revelations about himself, as does a seasonal traveler named Masterman, whose festive lust goes so wildly awry that his dishonorable designs lead him to a moral light. Throughout this volume, whether visiting “The Greatest Wake of All” or illuminating “The Seven Year Trance” or telling the tales of “The Hermit of Scartnabrock” and “Awlingal Princess of Cunnackeenamadra,” Keane bears benevolent testimony to the inhabitants and folk traditions of his colorful County Kerry.
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