Titel: A Celtic Childhood
Verlag: Ruminator Books, Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Fine
Auflage: First Edition.
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The first book in a trilogy, A Celtic Childhood offers a collection of colorful characters and humorous memories spanning Watkins's boyhood years. Whether saving his elementary school Christmas pageant from utter disaster when a fire breaks out on stage, or dressing up as a gangster and causing havoc at a gala wedding affair, the roisterous young Liam never allowed for a dull moment. Here we see the origins of Watkins's literary and theatrical talents as he takes us to his family gatherings in Limerick and Wales, where Celtic poetry, history, and song were as lush as the rolling countryside.
"Bill Watkins should receive credit for re-associating the words humorous,' thoughtful,' and educational' with the term Irish memoir.' Watkins succeeds at creating a lively, readable account of the first 17 years of his life, because he possesses the skill of an Irish bard: He can mix poetry, song, story and history together to make a pleasing tale."-Missoula Independent
"A Celtic Childhood will appeal to all people who enjoy music and myths and a wee bit of mischief."-San Antonio Express News
"Brilliant and entertaining."-Jim Brooks, Irish Gazette
"Laugh-out-loud funny, with an eccentric cast of characters. . . . Watkins's embellished childhood tales make for pure reading pleasure."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
It's a brave act to publish a book that will inevitably be compared with Angela's Ashes in the same season as Frank McCourt's eagerly awaited sequel, 'Tis. Yet Watkins's demurely titled, rollicking memoir of his boyhood in postwar Ireland and England can bear the comparison, and it deserves to be read for its own brilliance, rhythm and structure. Laugh-out-loud funny, with an eccentric cast of characters (including a "spheraphobic" uncle who wouldn't eat anything round), Watkins's embellished childhood tales make for pure reading pleasure. Language lovers will be charmed by his expressions ("a great feast of a woman") and the glossary of such exotic terms as doolally (to get mad at someone) and Adam and Eve it (believe it). Born in 1950 in Limerick, where, according to his mother, "you can't spit without hitting a piece of history," Watkins inherited the bardic and musical talents of his parents. Mam was gregarious, beautiful and staunchly Irish and Catholic, always ready with a ballad. His Welsh father was raised in Britain and grew up to be an agnostic and freethinker given to drinking and good-natured fighting. The family lived happily in various places: a caravan (trailer), public housing and with his father's family in Birmingham, England. Covering the first 17 years of his life, this first installment in a projected trilogy is a fine coming-of-age story, woven from tales of Watkins's family, school days and boyish adventures, as well as of Catholicism, ghosts and his rambles as a teenage musician. Though it is laced with deprivation and pathos (including the loss of two babies), Watkins's story isn't permeated with the sadness of McCourt's work, though it's equally memorable. Four-city author tour. (Sept.) FYI: The second installment in Watkins's trilogy, Scotland Is Not for the Squeamish, is projected for publication in fall 2000.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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