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Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (Stones of Aran #1)
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Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage

(Stones of Aran #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Tim Robinson’s epic exploration of the desolate, storm-lashed, limestone rocks, which have already haunted generations of Irish writers, takes the form of a clockwise journey around the coast. Every cliff, inlet and headland reveals layers of myth and historical memory, and Robinson makes beautifully crafted observations about the habits of birds, plants and the humans who ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 2nd 1991 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1986)
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4.17  · 
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 ·  127 ratings  ·  10 reviews


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Michael
This account of the author’s 14-year experience of Aran Island at the mouth of Galway Bay conforms to what I consider “biography of place”, which dwells on the particulars of the geography, the flora and fauna, and history of a region as a means to tap into universals of human experience and identification with a locale. Among books that I include in this category for the Listopia collection under that name is Robinson’s later book on the nearby region of Ireland, “Connemara”. Though I am partic ...more
Kathleen
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vagabonds, melancholy
If you have been to Aran, or plan to go, or long to go, this book can serve as an aid to memory, an introduction, or a way there. But be warned: the reading demands care and a kind of faith—namely, that walking in circles is not for nothing.

I carted this (very elegant—bless the NYRB) little volume around everywhere last winter—friends eventually started asking “Haven’t you been reading that for like, months?” At which point I would explain this pilgrim’s lack of progress by reading them the foll
...more
Ed
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kate
A walking meditation round the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. History, archaeology, geology, natural history but above all a grand Irish slowing down written by an English mathematician and long time resident of the main island. Brain......slows.....down.....nicely....
5greenway
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating stuff, and the mingling of science, history and poetry pretty much works all the way through. Occasionally the consciousness of place trips over into a kind of off-putting self-consciousness in the author, but that's probably just me being tired and grumpy.
Padraic
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ireland
A stone classic - pardon the pun - of close-up geography. More words per square foot of island than any other book I know, and he only traced the shores. Can't wait to read volume 2 - well, maybe wait a month. Robinson (an Englishman - well, an ex-pat in that he abandoned Yorkshire for the West, but a Pat too) devotes a larger volume to the stone riddled interior of Arainn - then goes on to write 3 volumes on Connemara alone. As if single-handedly trying to make up for what British Ordnance Surv ...more
Jrobertus
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have just begun this unusual book. An English author walks around the Aran island off the west coast of Ireland, narrating about the landscape, the history and local lore. He writes elegantly, and this book draws you in to the journey. Who knew?
Nelleke
Maybe it is the dutch translation, but I didn't like this book as much as I expected. Been twice to the Aran islands, so it was interesting to read. But the writer or translator used such long and difficult sentences that I found it hard to concentrate on the text.
Eric
Aug 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
True dedication to a culture and a level of detail I've never read since I first attempted to read Proust.
Caroline
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read years ago, and it killed me to wait forever for the second volume.
Liam Day
It requires patience, something I'm sure the author intended, but, with it, there is a lot here for a reader to dig into: geology, botany, cultural history, myth and folklore. Highly recommend.
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NYRB Classics: Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, by Tim Robinson 4 12 Oct 31, 2013 10:59PM  

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A native of Yorkshire, Tim Robinson studied maths at Cambridge and then worked for many years as a visual artist in Istanbul, Vienna and London, among other places. In 1972 he moved to the Aran Islands. In 1986 his first book, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, was published to great acclaim. The second volume of Stones of Aran, subtitled Labyrinth, appeared in 1995. His latest book is Connemara. Since 1 ...more

Other books in the series

Stones of Aran (2 books)
  • Stones of Aran: Labyrinth (Stones of Aran #2)