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See note on methodology

As with Wales, and even more crushingly, there is a very clear winner in this category. Most frequently tagged "Ireland" on both GoodReads and LibraryThing, and owned by more users on both systems than any other book set in Ireland, it won a Pulitzer and dominated the best-seller lists of 1997. It is, for once, a work of non-fiction.

Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt.

There are in fact two books even more popular among GoodReads users which have been tagged "Ireland" because of the origin of their authors, but as far as I remember (and I've re-read both fairly recently) no part of Dracula or The Picture of Dorian Grey is set in the writers' homeland.

On Librarything, it's fairly close at the top, though, with the winner just a nose ahead of Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners in terms of number of readers.

Those three are a bit further down the list on GoodReads, though with P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern and In the Woods by Tana French in second and third place, and Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning in fifth (after the adaptation of Homer, but ahead of the student memoir and the short stories). Is it worth my checking any of those out?

Bubbling under: Roddy Doyle, Maeve Binchy, Leon Uris (gawd help us),How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Jan. 31st, 2015 06:55 pm (UTC)
The Karen Marie Moning one is terrible. The story is ostensibly set in Dublin, but she has clearly never been here, nor even looked at a map of the city. She flings street names about with gay abandon, but makes no effort to actually link them up properly. I got a headache reading the book and trying to make sense of the geography. It's cultural appropriation, and lazy cultural appropriation to boot, and it infuriated me.

(Aside from that, the story is a distinctly mediocre piece of urban fantasy.)
Jan. 31st, 2015 07:00 pm (UTC)
Sadly, this doesn't surprise me in the least...
Jan. 31st, 2015 09:41 pm (UTC)
I have enjoyed all Tana French novels (In the Woods is the first book of a loosely connected crime series with changing detectives as protagonists) - they aren't very fast paced and the crime/mystery is not the most complex and twisty out there, but I liked the sense of place she creates and the nicely drawn characters. In the Woods, being a debut, is maybe the weakest of the four I've read so far actually, Faithful Place, the third, was my favourite.
Jan. 31st, 2015 10:02 pm (UTC)
I absolutely loved In The Woods. The Likeness was far more suspenseful (at times oh-my-god-I-can't-breathe suspenseful) but if you've read In the Woods it's a matter of trying to guess which of the housemates is the psychopath. I liked Faithful Place a lot too; it's only the last one whose name escapes me that's set on the ghost estate that didn't really do it for me.

By didn't really do it for me I mean "is still head and shoulders above 99% of crime novels out there".

In short, I can't recommend Tana French enough.
Jan. 31st, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
There's actually a fifth book out now, although I haven't had time to read it yet: "The Secret Place". The ghost estate is "Broken Harbour" and yeah, it wasn't quite as compelling as the others - but still great!

(And I think I might have sounded a bit lukewarm in my comment - I do agree, they are definitely some of the best crime novels I've personally read! Definitely the kind where I have quite literally read until dawn, because I didn't want to put them down.)
Jan. 31st, 2015 10:35 pm (UTC)
Broken Harbour? It's the only one I've read so far, and it was well worth reading. I first heard of French when Ian Rankin was bragging on Twitter about how he had an advance copy of her newest book and how happy this made him. I've always found his recommendations sound. Nicholas, you should definitely try one.
Feb. 1st, 2015 04:33 am (UTC)
I take note of the strong recs for Tana French - and lack of same for Cecelia Ahern!
Jan. 31st, 2015 10:46 pm (UTC)
I loved these books too. I think she has slightly run out of steam in her latest but she has been pretty much my favourite author of recent years. wonderful nuances both of locale, class and the inside of her protagonists heads.
Jan. 31st, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
The only trouble with The Likeness is the um sheer up likeliness of the central trope. Otherwise I agree it stupendous ( if drawing a perhaps a LEETLE too much on The Secret History - which I feel has had an influence on several of her books..)

Ps sorry LJ doesn't seem to be giving me an option to log in!
Jan. 31st, 2015 10:53 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised not to see Marian Keyes in there - the Walshes are hilarious, and give Roddy Doyle a good run for his money despite being "chicklit". (Watermelon is the first and best if you haven't tried them.) Joyce is inevitably in my list, and Doyle. Didn't even think of Frank McCourt despite owning that, doh.
Feb. 1st, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
Roddy Doyle's The Commitments is my go to Ireland book.

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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