Silver Linings: Travels Around Northern Ireland
Martin Fletcher presents a portrait of a Northern Ireland of lakes, rivers, and mountains, where customs, traditions, and old-world charm survive. He reveals an incredibly resourceful province which has given the world not just bombs and bullets, but the tyre and the tractor, a dozen American presidents, two Prime Ministers of New Zealand, and a Hindu god.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Little, Brown Book Group
(first published May 11th 2000)
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As travel books go, this is not great. Fletcher can be mildly amusing at times, but he dwells too much on minor historical connections -- the birthplaces of Chester Arthur's ancestors, writers of hymns, and military leaders of colonial India -- and ruined and/or revamped manor houses. He's better when he focuses on the present -- his descriptions of road bowling, Lambeg drumming, and eel fishing are interesting -- but he doesn't compare to Tony Hawks, whose "Round Ireland with a Fridge" is my st...more
Martin Fletcher is a good travel writer in the same class as the great H.V. Morton. He takes you there and even more, makes you want to be there. He walks the Irish tight-rope with ease, a difficult achievement indeed since the Ceasefire was only a few years old when the book was written.