Last Night's Fun
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Last Night's Fun : A Book about Irish Traditional Music

4.25 (136 ratings by Goodreads)
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Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas

Description

Ciaran Carson's "Last Night's Fun" is a sparkling celebration of Irish music and life that is itself a literary performance of the highest order. Each chapter takes the title of a traditional tune, and as in a session played by brilliant improvising musicians, each tune leads into another, melodies and variations weaving in and out in a haze of talk and memory. Carson's inspired jumble of recording history, poetry, tall tales, and polemic captures the sound and vigor of a ruthlessly unsentimental music. A leading Irish poet who is also an accomplished flute player, he tells of his Belfast childhood, of learning to play music, of his travels in Ireland and America, of poteen, pub life, and the special pleasure taken in a well-made Fry "the morning after the night before." Loosely interpreted standards, as Carson points out, achieve a special kind of profundity and resonance - a tune can never be played the same way twice - so this is also a book about the poignancy of lost airs, about music as "a way of renegotiating lost time" and recognizing mortality.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 197 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 10.16mm | 272.15g
  • Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • North Point Pbk.
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0865475318
  • 9780865475311
  • 112,373

Review quote

"Ciaran Carson is a class of centaur-a flute-playing poet and a word-rich musician. Last Night's Fun is a cracker of a book, pure pleasure, stuffed with anecdotes, memories, wit and humor and deep knowledge of traditional Irish music. The reader is transported into the smoke and warmth of certain rooms in Northern Ireland where a glass of whiskey stands on the table, the black, cast-iron pan sputters on the burner, and a tune falls canted and sly out of the instruments." --E. Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News "Last Night's Fun is an uproar." --Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times "This whole beautiful little book is... full of metaphor and observation and side trip and word-juggle and anecdote. It could well be the ideal book to read before a trip to Ireland, offering, instead of maps of highways, a deep drink of what the place is really all about." --Charles M. Madigan, Chicago Tribuneshow more

About Ciaran Carson

Ciaran Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast and works for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He is the author of The Pocket Guide to Irish Music, The Star Factory, as well as five collections of poetry, one of which, First Language, was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize.show more

Rating details

136 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 41% (56)
4 44% (60)
3 14% (19)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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