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The Irish R.M.

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  23 reviews
By the same authors as "French Leave" and "An Enthusiast" this book is a collection of stories first published at the turn of the century and were considered some of the funniest prose in the English language. They have more recently inspired the television series of the same name.

Originally published in 1928 as The Irish R.M. and His Experiences.
591 pages
Published 1989 by Abacus (first published 1928)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001-books
Lovely collection of stories about Englishman Major Sinclair Yeates who becomes embroiled in the peculiar moralities of the West of Ireland as a Resident Magistrate. Justice is usually served as our hero becomes the unwitting stooge of Flurry Knox and a cast of eccentric rural folk. Warm and funny, they deserve to be widely read, but I fear the concentration on fox-hunting will make the subject matter toxic for some modern audiences.
Lissa Oliver
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was very much of its time and very funny. The characters were likeable and amusing and while the book's hero may have sought to poke fun at the bit players, it was they who had the last laugh and exposed the hero as the true fool. Still an enjoyable read, after the passing of years and change of cultures, it stands the test of time.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this after seeing the Masterpiece Theater presentation of the novel. Again, which is the better work: the book or the mini-series? If you love to try to figure out the Irish then this is the book for you. Set in Ireland, the Irish magistrate learns to live with the local Irish population's follies, foibles, and way of life. Amusing and a rollicking good read!
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was driven to this by the television series, but the stories of the stolid Englishman, his devoted wife, and his madcap Irish friends are even more delightful, though one must imagine the Irish scenery.
Nov 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Funny collections of stories. I'd love to get the videos and watch them! This won't be an easy read for most people. But I loved it.
Seamus Hilley
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I should hate these stories as all the Irish characters are portrayed as drunken, feckless wastrels eternally moving from one amusing scrape to another. They're written from the "haut en bas" perspective of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, who spend most of their time saving the natives from themselves. The writers were obsessed with fox hunting, which seems to have been the principal occupation and topic of conversation of an entire class. And yet.....they're wonderful. Unputdownable and wildly funn ...more
Suzanne Auckerman
This became a Master Piece series, which I am sure was enjoyable. I liked the main character, but other characters were not developed. There was a lot of hunting for foxes and using hounds. They seem very brutal to the horses and the hounds. They rarely got a fox, so they came out okay. Overall, it was a light, funny book.
Linda Chrisman
Loved these books - thank you to Masterpiece Theater on PBS who introduced me to these lovely and very funny books so many years ago.
Pip Jennings
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a good book for dipping into as each chapter is self contained. It is very funny and enjoyably, but I probably would have appreciated it more if I knew anything about horses & fox hunting. ...more
Sep 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
"Major Sinclair Yeates leaves England to work as an Irish Resident Magistrate convinced that two and two make four. But as he passes judgment on a range of cases and characters that would have driven Solomon to drink he learns that in Ireland two and two are just as likely to make five, or three, or even nothing at all ..."
~back cover

Not liking this book as much as I thought I would. The humor escapes me. The general plot line seems to be our hero = a staid young man who just wants to get on in
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved the 1980's Peter bowls series. So when I bought the book I thought I would be in for more of the same.

First thing I would say is that in the edition I bought the text was way to small.

Secondly the language is a bit difficult to understand. I am Irish and have to think back to how my gran used english to understand this. Its better to read it out loud.

Its another one of those books that I never finished, but might give it another go.

Oct 27, 2007 marked it as maybe-someday  ·  review of another edition
Maybe someday or there's always netflix.

addendum- added 10/20/10 -- I did watch the Irish RM series a couple years back and enjoyed it. I know that doesn't make me a good reader but some people listen to books on tape, too. Why should I be to be so harsh on myself for not reading everything out there???
Jeanette de Montalk
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
These are my favourite books. I love the Irish idiom, and the Irish eccentricities are offset perfectly by Major Yeates's understated commentary. I re-read them every year and they still make me laugh. Oh and it helps to know a little about horses and hunting to appreciate them fully.
Frances Sawaya
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-our-library
As an American currently living in Ireland, I found much in this book to learn from. The need and desire to "diddle 'em" come across as being quite real; the characters are true at least for some parts of rural Ireland as I see it daily. The television series was engaing in its way as is the book.
Caroline Kubale
Feb 20, 2011 marked it as to-read
john veigel
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect book about life in Ireland filled with humour, splendid characters & amazing ancedotes of country life as observed by the befuddled retired English aristocrat. Absolutely lovely~~~~ ...more
Lynn Pribus
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful series on BBC and the book is great fun, too. Actually written in 1899, so the language is a bit quaint, but it all just fits so nicely. Each chapter is a separate escapade or episode.
Victoria Jackson
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, ireland, owned
Very warm and humorous. Irish country houses, hounds and hunting. Funniest episode is during a hunt when RM has to seeks help and help a damsel in distress.
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
no ...couldn't be doing with it...bit too folksy for me
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed the Masterpiece Theatre production of this book, but I wasn't as engaged by the book.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rollicking fun
Apr 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
As I recall, a delightful selection for March.
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Dec 27, 2013
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