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Creatures of the Earth: New and Selected Stories

4.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  95 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
McGahern's command of the short story places him among the finest practitioners of the form, in a lineage that runs from Chekhov through Joyce and the Anglo-American masters. When the collection was first published in 1992, the Sunday Times said 'there is a vivid pleasure to be had in the reading of these stories, ' while for Cressida Connolly in the Evening Standard 'thes ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Faber And Faber (first published March 1st 1996)
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Jun 25, 2009 Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading this on and off for quite a while. Short stories between other novels. I think this might be the first time I've ever had a very strong personal reaction to a set of short stories.

McGahern has always been there floating on the periphery for me. A man who comes up regularly as an important Irish author, but I'd just never gotten round to reading him. He died in 2006.

I think this collection has a strong overlap with The Collected Stories; it has just two new ones. So if you could
Jan 27, 2015 Fionnuala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Familiar McGahern territory
The stories in this anthology are mostly set in the Leitrim and Roscommon landscape which McGahern wrote about so well and the themes are those he returned to again and again in his writing: memories of childhood; his relationship with a tyranical father; religion; sexuality; old age and death. To this reader, it seems that he was always polishing the same material as a sculptor might polish a piece of rough granite until at the end, he has a small but perfectly smooth
Padraig Barry
Jul 09, 2008 Padraig Barry is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
After reading his novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun I couldn't wait to dive into this collection of short stories. Alas, I am a little disapponted, but I don't think its necessarily McGahern's fault. The stories are okay (not page-turning but interesting) but unlike the novel the writing doesn't make you want to reread the passages. This might have something to do with the short story format as opposed to the ebb and flow of a novel.
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McGahern began his career as a schoolteacher at Scoil Eoin Báiste (Belgrove) primary school in Clontarf, Ireland, where, for a period, he taught the eminent academic Declan Kiberd before turning to writing full-time. McGahern's second novel 'The Dark' was banned in Ireland for its alleged pornographic content and implied clerical sexual abuse. In the controversy over this he was forced to resign h ...more
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