A Pint of Plain: How the Irish Pub Lost Its Magic but Conquered the World

Bill Barich, Author . Walker $25 (242p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1701-6

All that the author, a California transplant, wanted was to find the perfect pub in his Dublin neighborhood, an easy task since Barich had “been in training for the job most of my life.” What should be a breeze morphs into a countrywide pub crawl and journalistic investigation, as the author discovers that the romanticized Irish pub of The Quiet Man has become commercialized, while stricter drunk driving laws and Ireland's changing social dynamics don't bode well for the future of the places beloved by everyone from Joyce to the working class. Barich (Laughing in the Hills ) also talks about the various aspects of Irish pub culture, from its music to its literary denizens. Barich crams in a lot of intriguing elements—history, sociology, autobiography, travelogue, character study—without deciding on a focus. Consequently, his effort feels less like a book than a collection of loosely connected facts and observations, which gradually languish as the author strays from the revelatory and informative (e.g., the nutritional qualities of Guinness; Ireland's attempts at temperance) for the quaint. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/01/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-0-8027-1062-8
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4088-0141-3
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4088-0422-3
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4088-1372-0
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-8027-1958-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-8926-3
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