Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (Stones of Aran #1)” as Want to Read:
Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (Stones of Aran #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stones of Aran, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Stones of Aran

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  10 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
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
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....
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
rated it liked it
Apr 17, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jun 23, 2017
rated it liked it
Jul 31, 2018
Susan Hight
rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 17, 2015
Fiachra Mangan
rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2015
Sam Josh
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jan 17, 2016
Ben Toth
rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Dec 05, 2016
rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2011
Phyllis Berger
rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2018
Scott Clark
rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2015
David Wheatley
rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 09, 2010
David Trubridge
rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
NYRB Classics: Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, by Tim Robinson 4 12 Oct 31, 2013 10:59PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Original Letters from India
  • Hindoo Holiday
  • Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece
  • A Field Guide to Irish Fairies
  • In Bruges
  • Irisches Tagebuch
  • An African in Greenland
  • The Mangan Inheritance
  • Letters from Russia
  • Bullfighting: Stories
  • Athena (The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy, #3)
  • Antarctica
  • The Way of the World
  • Set in Stone
  • Seven Men
  • Det Lykkelige Arabien: En Dansk Ekspedition, 1761 67
  • A Book of Migrations: Some Passages in Ireland
See similar books…
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)