Thursday, March 24, 2011

3/17 / Mary Pat Hyland

Genre: Humor

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Availability Kindle: YES    Nook: NO    DTB: YES


A former graphic artist and journalist (her column was carried in more than ninety papers across the US) Mary Pat Hyland lives in upstate New York. She published two novels prior to this one, The Cyber Miracles and its sequel, A Sudden Gift of Fate.


Four Irish traditional musicians get trapped in rural New York the week before St. Patrick’s Day.


Murphy was Irish. It seems fitting that his law would apply so well to the characters of 3/17. In what is described as a “loose parody of Dante’s Inferno,” Irish Trad Band Slí na Fírinne (which means “path of truth”) go on their first American tour in upstate New York. Before reaching their first gig they slide off the road in a snowstorm – an accident that might have been prevented if they had paid attention to their seemingly possessed GPS. From there, it only gets worse.

What follows is a nightmare that gets progressively worse. Missed gigs, cultural clashes – especially with those who think they understand Irish culture, and plenty of gigs from hell (none of which were those originally booked). Although almost anyone capable of laughing at Murphy gone amok should enjoy 3/17, it should especially ring true for musicians, or anyone who has observed artistic types trying to put food on the table.


You’ll find a lot of Gaeilge words (the Irish language) used. For some, like eejit, the meaning might be obvious. Some you’ll figure out from context. For all, the handy lexicon in the back is available to help.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars


Mary Pat said...

Go raibh maith agat, Al! Sláinte!

BooksAndPals said...

*al checks the handy-dandy Gaeilge lexicon at the back of 3/17*

No help there. Maybe Google.

You're welcome, Mary Pat. Sláinte

muckefuck said...

Do they really call it "Gaeilge" in the book? Because in my experience, the Irish never call it that. When speaking English, they say "Irish" (except for the fixed expression as Gaeilge "in Irish"). Only American neophytes (you know, the same sort who would say "Nihongo" if they were learning Japanese) say "Gaeilge".

I'll wager many of the words in that glossary aren't "Gaeilge" at all but simply Irish English. "Eejit", for instance, is nothing more than a dialectal pronunciation of "idiot". If you're interested in the vocabulary of Irish English, get your hands on a copy of Dolan's Dictionary of Hiberno-English. It's especially handy if you find yourself reading a lot of works by Irish authors.

Sounds like a fun read. I'll keep it in mind for when St Paddy's comes around again.

Elda said...

Looks excellent. I'm going to have to get my hands on this one. As a student learning Irish this would be a fun read for me.

Go raibh maith agat!

Mary Pat said...

The lexicon is a combination of Irish phrases and slang. Yes, eejit is there, but so are amadán and cabóg.

Daniel said...

I came to this site over the hoopla about The Greek Seaman and stayed to explore. This book sounds like fun and right up my alley since I'm from Upstate and have more than a casual familiarity with the world of Irish traditional music. I've just bought it on Kindle and look forward to reading on my home from work today. Thanks for the tip!