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Me Read Book #1


I read. A lot. The written word is the only drug as titillating to me as the reefers. Thusly, after devouring a book I'm normally left with potential geyser of thoughts that lays rumbling inside like a demon. Every now and then I'll unleash the demon:

NOTE: If you find that, after reading said review, you too which to trapse across the well-worn pages, just drop me a line. I love forcing my tastes onto unsuspecting folks, hence my contributions to this blog.


Today's book: Last of the Donkey Pilgrims by Kevin O'Hara

Back in 1979 a Vietnam vet hippie felt lost. He held American and Irish citizenship (not unlike Hairyass Haritgan) yet didn't feel any real connection with either culture. Leaving his wife back in the states he went to to visit family when he stumbled upon the idea of "dragging an ass around the ring". What followed was a counter-clockwise, year-long trek across Ireland with nothing more than a cart and a lovable donkey named Missy McDermitt.

For the most part the book is a breezy travelogue and love letter to the Ould Sod. O'Hara was a bartender so his writing skills aren't exemplary but it's difficult to not get wrapped up in the atmosphere he inhabits along his way. He doles out tidbits of Irish history succinctly but at times these bits seemed forced. The true gems are the people of Eire, which is really the focus of the book. He tries to implement as much of the history of the land by visiting historic sights but it's difficult to gain a better idea of a country by describing ruins. The book comes alive as night falls on each evening as most of the time Mr. O'Hara has no idea where he'll be sleeping. He plugs along at a pace that averages about 5 miles a day, delighting youngsters and ending up drinking with locals. The tales he's told by the firesides of Ireland are worth their weight in potatoes.

Overall it's a light, enjoyable book that will make you yearn for less hatred- and terror-filled days. O'Hara is embraced by the country and welcomed wherever he goes, leaving the reader with a warm feeling in the pit of the tummy. This may also be from the several pints of Guiness that go exuisitely well with the book. You know what, from now on, when I review a book, I'll also tell you what drink goes best with it, if for no other reason than I'm a raging alcoholic.

Through the glimpses into all that made up the storied past of Ireland, you get a sense of patriotism that isn't so scary. You also get a better idea of the Irish than you would by watching the bad guy from Charlie's Angels II: Full Throttle.

**originally posted by Smizzy Clizzy
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