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A fitting tribute to John B. Keane, for decades Ireland's favorite storyteller, this winning short story collection typifies the late author's folkloric imagination and storytelling arts. These are congenial tales, too, as this literary legend views the foibles and fallibilities of Irish country folk with abundant compassion as well as a shrewd, sometimes sardonic eye. Add to that Keane's glorious sense of fun and roguery that will make readers relish all the more how and why, in "Fred Rimble," Jim Conlon kills the best friend he ever had. Or how Willie Ramley determines that his future wife will be "Guaranteed Pure." Or how, to tragic as well as comic effect, a gasp, garlic, and gossip undo Denny Bruder in "The Hanging." In all, Keane uncovers the folly in the romantic pangs, exalted aspirations, misguided mischief, and everyday shortcomings of the characters in the village of his storyteller's mind-and beyond the folly finds their humanity.

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