I am not a normal reader of fiction as my tastes run to Non Fiction, But as one who has studied and played 'The Traditional Irish Music of Ireland (EIRE)' for numerous years and plays The Irish Traditional Music in countless Irish Pubs on '3/17', St.Patrick's Day , I was 'Intrigued' by the Title of this excellent book ,'3/17'. As anyone with an ounce of 'Irishness' is aware ; March 17 is St. Patrick's Day or as I fondly call it 'PADDY'S DAY'. The dichotomy of how '3/17' is celebrated in Ireland (Eire)as more of a Holy Day Honoring St. Patrick ,the Patron Saint of Ireland is vastly different than the chaos and drunken madness of the ones who pass themselves off as 'pseudo-Irish on '3/17' in America.I 'fondly' (?) refer to '3/17' as "Amateur Day and a Night of Drunken Debauchery" full of Gobshites, Eejits and Amadans.
As an Irish Traditional Musician ,who on many 'Paddy's Day' has witnessed the 'Madness' of what '3/17' has become in the U.S., The Irish Trad.Musician is hired to 'create an authentic Irish Traditional Music Atmosphere' finds himself in battle with " The Nine Hellish Circles of American Irish revelry".
"In this modern version of Dante's Inferno", four young Trad. Musicians from Eire, in a valorous attempt at finding their way, driving from Boston to upstate New York for a 'Boonies' '3/17' Gig, find themselves waylaid in a blinding snowstorm by a " Black Galloping Glowing-Eyed Puca. Their misadventure just begins. In their horror that follows their 'Banjaxed' vehicle, what happens to The Band that descends into a hellish experience unknown or imagined by most True Denizens of EIRE.Only in American can '3/17' Exist!!!
1) Hordes of little 'Irish Step Dancers' that the Dancing School Mothers insist that the Publican permit these little monsters 'perform as part of the Paddy's Day Festivities............Horror!! They won't go away,these little pseudo-Irish Dancing Monsters. DUH, the Band was hired to play, not the little dancing Fharies!!
2)"Bobbing Shamrock Headbangers" You would have to be there to believe it. A Flying Flock of Amadans!!!
3)"Green Beer Bacchanals" A breed of 'Culchie' know only in the upstate backwoods of the Empire State.
4("Shillelagh-waving Geezers" " Aul caturs" -with one foot in the pub and the other in the 'ould sod graveyard'.Time to pack it in ,Lads!!
5)And mountains and mountains of Corned Beef, in a quantity that would sink Eire and guarantee many hours in the local pub 'Jacks'.
As you follow our Intrepid Band mates as they bounce from one Hellish misadventure to another, just trying to survive long enough as they bide their time to get the parts to have the 'Puca Banjaxed Vehicle' Repaired; play the damn gig and get out of this Green Beer, Shamrock Waving , Corned Beef Pseudo-Mick Headbangers otherworld of Hell, alive.
Mary Pat Hyland writes from the experience as a gifted writer, a sean-nos singer, a Teacher of Gaeilge, and a talented Traditional Irish Musician.As a 'comrade in Traditional Irish Music', who has 'Survived' the 'Revelry' from the other side of the '3/17' picture ,as an Irish Traditional Musician playing up on stage, I will quote " It hasn't been very pretty".
This is the first review I have ever composed of any written work,and believe me ,my Library is vast.The description of '3/17'; the Green Daft Gobshite 'Craic' is spot On, no holds-take no prisoners on what in America is '3/17'.......A Green Hued Hooley Hell. I recommend this great book to anyone who even 'TINKS' of '3/17' as just a normal day in America.