Reviews - Hot Footing Around the Emerald Isle
& Radio Reviews
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of "This
is the Place" and "Harkening: A Collection of
Stories Remembered" 13th March 2003.
Fun and Books--What a Way to "Go!"
Honest, Funny Look at Ireland
that anyone cares, but I'm putting all travel section
editors on notice: I hate travel books. I prefer serendipity
when I travel and I truly don't give a darn about the
kind of soap a hotel puts in its bathrooms.
My point here is that Hot Footing Around the Emerald Isle
by Ian Middleton is a book even travelers (and book lovers)
like me can adore.
book is funny. And perspicacious. And it will do the world
some good-literally. More about that in a minute.
is a book about, well, you know, the adventures the author
had hotfooting it around Ireland. Now the author plans
to do it again for charity. He will walk 300 miles across
Ireland to aid asthma research come May. Part of the proceeds
from this book go directly to charity and the rest of
the profits will fund this second walk-sort of charity
and profits in motion like a giant snowball (I hope) rolling
down and hill and collecting more good, pristine stuff
as it rolls!
And more "good stuff" could include another
book. Mr. Middleton's writing reflects his breadth of
travel and his experience in the UK; not that they are
connected or anything but he also has a rather salty vocabulary.
He has an uncanny knack for spotting the way the universe
provides coincidences and for characterization. Emerald
Isle introduces us to more interesting characters than
the average novel.
book is also inspirational. No, not that kind. It will
be an inspiration to English speakers with a tad of Irish
running in their veins to visit the green islands. They
can go the way Ian did or they can get themselves one
of those how-to books that list prices and locations if
they prefer. It's really not what you read about Ireland
that's important. It's how well what your reading works
at getting you there!
more about Ian and his new travel, his charity efforts
etc. at www.ian-middleton.co.uk
Howard-Johnson's first novel, "This is the Place,"
has won eight awards. Her newly released "Harkening:
A Collection of Stories Remember" has won two. One
might consider both sort of travel guides to Utah.
Learn more at: http://carolynhoward-johnson.com.)
review has been placed at the following websites:
of the Welcomes magazine
the fellow who looks after you when you kiss the famous
Blarney Stone to the King of Tory Island, Ian Middleton
has met them all and had a good many adventures on the
way, including getting shifted(?). Oh, read this funny
little book and find out for yourself!'
Chapman, Worcester Evening News
entertaining travelogue in the Pete McCarthy and Tony Hawks'
mould, it is the indomitable spirit of the Irish and their
sideways swipe at life that always shines through.'
Domville, Warrington Guardian
makes Ian's walks so memorable and his books so riveting
is that he always has time to smell the roses - to absorb
and relate the atmosphere of the countryside or the township
he is visiting.
the whole article
book review website
do predict that those who pick it up will want to read it
to the end. I did so, partly because I just liked the guy.
He is at his funniest when he isn't trying too hard: "Dermot
told me his name was Michael, but when I called him that,
he replied, 'My name's Bill.' " Read
the whole review
96 FM. Interview with Elmarie Mawe, The Arts House.
did enjoy the book a whole lot, I must say. It had me laughing
in the most ridiculous situations where I shouldn't have
been laughing." Hear
the whole Interview
love of Eire comes through in Ian's new book. He describes
with a longing the scenery of Southern Ireland, but reserves
some of his best, and funniest writing for the characters
he meets along the way" Read
the whole article
book is a good light-hearted read that gives an insight
into what the stranger thinks of us up here in the north
the whole article
takes a very basic and direct approach when relating his
tale of travelling around the Emerald Isle and gives an
honest account of the country and people that greeted
him upon his arrival, summing up his experiences thus
"It's still and probably always will be, 'Ireland
of the welcomes'. Read
the whole article
tales are an easy read and quite humorous. Read
the whole article
has a great and irreverent turn of phrase and a witty
irony, as well as an artist's eye for detail when it comes
to penning his observations, be they humorous, or heartfelt,
or both." Read
the whole article
Echo Review, By Cheryl Rickard
sharp and slightly sarcastic sense of humour makes this
book a treasure of hilarious anecdotes and unusual characters."
the whole article
EAST VOICE, IRELAND'S FREE NEWSPAPER
year; two great books
Hot Footing Around the Emerald Isle
"A unique and witty perspective on touring
from a proven English Travel Writer"
SAMPLE FROM A BOOK REVIEW BY MARTY MC COOL
book gives a unique and witty perspective on travelling
around Ireland from a proven English travel writer. It's
an involving, compelling read that never, ever forgets
the reader and brings them along on what is frequently
a roller coaster ride. Nor is it just for foreigners;
Irish can be regaled by the book, too and made to laugh
book materialised from his many experiences in mythical,
mystical Ireland in the summer of 1999 and his return
trip a year later. It's evocatively titled 'Hot Footing
Around the Emerald Isle'. Available in all local bookshops,
it's a steal at just €10.99. The book gives a unique
and witty perspective on travelling around Ireland from
a proven English travel writer. It's an involving, compelling
read that never, ever forgets the reader and brings them
along on what is frequently a roller coaster ride. Nor
is it just for foreigners; Irish can be regaled by the
book, too and made to laugh at themselves.
with the audacious, impulsive, vivacious Ian on his bicoastal
tour of Ireland, taking in the whole expanse of the west
coast and winding up somewhere that has a special place
in his affections - Wexford.
his new book, Ian Middleton has compiled a Bord Failte-standard
guide to some of Ireland's best places and people. The
story is illuminated by the crystal-clarity of Ian Middleton's
descriptive faculties, his razor-sharp sense of humour
and zest for adventure.
Footing Around the Emerald Isle' is one of the most vivid,
forthright and replenishing books you will read this year.'
here to read the whole review
A lot of compliments have been said so far about this
book, nevertheless they all praise one writer's talent.
Perpetual zest for adventure and vivid transformation
into words for readers to entertain to the very last page.
a magnet it pulls you up, captures all your senses in
it. Soon it uncovers a simple tail of an eager traveller
who wants ongoing trip to be more than an ordinary one.
Thus he engages in all sorts of daily events which end
up in all palettes of stories which glitter in all their
glad the writer displays one valuable skill. His writing
seldom contains tendency of repetition throughout stories.
Something I'm sure is the hardest task since undertaking
the rout of a travel writer. Also something readers aren't
keen on either, nonetheless Ian proves just how this is
possible. In fact, Ian brings something fresh and alive
to the whole structure of a book.
Looking overall, the second book represents apparent development
in building himself as a writer. Surely it is narrated
from different angle as a South American book, yet the
upgrade is obvious in all its form. That is to congratulate
on, especially on the sweaty work of all those previous
years which produced fruitful results and I am positive
within considerate time Ian's lengthy account of books
will find a well deserved place among other well known
authors of his kind.
don't know if you remember me (I worked opposite you at
the interhol exhibition - I was the annoying one who kept
saying "would you like to enter a free prize draw?"!!)
Anyhow I have just read both of the books that I bought
off you at the exhibition and I just had to email you
and say that they were the funniest books that I have
read for a long time. My boyfriend thought it quite strange
when he was sat in the lounge and he heard me laughing
in the next room!.
books are both exciting and fulfilling whilst also having
a very educational side without the reader feeling preached
to. I know so much more about both South America and also
Ireland than I did before and am grateful to you for opening
my eyes and helping me to see these place in an unbiased
luck with both the travelling and the writing!!
don't know if you remember me, we met at the hostel in
Wexford when I was looking for Gunda and Chris. Gunda
gave me your Ireland book as a birthday present and you
persuaded me to buy a copy of your South America book
the night before I had to leave Wexford :) I promised
to tell you what I think of the books and here it comes:
love them! I prefer the Ireland book, maybe because I've
been there myself, but both books were really entertaining.
miss Ireland a lot, by the way. I hope I can come back
for a few days or weeks next year. Have a good time in
Wexford (are you still in Ireland?) and tell me if you
write a new book, I'll certainly buy it :)
Just thought I would send you a line to tell you that
I did not go away this weekend so went for a walk in Andover
yesterday and called in to the book store and bought your
book about Ireland as I will not make the signing next
I have read it and it was great as I could not put it
down until I had finished.
transported me home and I felt that I had made the journey
with you. The worst part is that it makes me want to go
home to all that friendly atmosphere.
can understand you liking the stout as it does taste a
you for telling people that we are all not bad and if
people would just get past the Irish accent they would
really see us.
O' Neill, The Ink Well Book Store, Arklow
bemused and oft bleary-eyed Middleton scours Ireland from
Cork to Donegal in search of
something. It's a perilous
mission fraught with anxieties - half poured frothy pints
of Murphys served by barmen who's last job may have been
executioner to Henry VIII.
a steep learning curve, up country, in direct contact
with natives, exchanging bodily fluids at the Blarney
Stone, swapping tales of heroism with backpackers returning
from the jungles of Claire, Kerry and beyond.
Middleton says that his philosophy when travelling is
to choose a country and drift around it, making it up
as he goes along, going with the flow.
unprepared approach combined with a willingness to cope
with whatever the nations oddities decide to throw at
him make for an entertaining reading, a travelogue which
can be dipped into at any page for gems to be remembered
long after the reader has put the book away in lieu of
a conversation with a fellow traveller en route.
Whorisky, Travellers Rest Pub, Cashelard, Donegal.
there Ian, just a short note to tell you it is a great
book that you put together, you probably don't remember
me, I met you and your two guardian angels in the Travellers
Rest in Cashelard Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. I hope all
is going well for you. could you send info on the article
about the pub and surrounding area ,as i am making a web
site for cashelard town land.
the intersting story of how we came to meet in the article:
Blair's first pint of Guinness, and my most expensive
I've just finished to read your excellent book which is
full of anecdotes those give a very large part of reality,
of concrete to the book. When you describe a place, I've
got the feeling to be on site because I know most of the
places which are described and I almost had the same feelings
as you. I like the British touch of humour when you do
references to your comportment towards pints. Moreover,
you have perfectly translated into words the Irish personality
and this is essential to understand the Celtic soul. This
book has really brought back memories of my trip in Ireland.
That was really what I was looking for.
Remi's website on Ireland. (http://freshairinireland.free.fr)
recently returned to Wexford from the Midlands after a
few months working up there and popped into my former
employer, South East Radio, to see Alan McGuire. Perusing
his book repository, I espied your book on your Irish
trip and borrowed it.
loved it, I thought it was witty, intelligent and your
feelings on certain things coincide exactly with mine
(eg., the blight of American tourists, white buses, the
ruining of Killarney etc.). Well done on an entertaining,
funny and soemtimes frustrating (for a bloke who meets
a lot of women you don't get much!) read.
a few days later I was back in the radio station and mentioned
my enjoyment of your book to Alan, who promptly dug out
your South American tale.... once again I thoroughly enjoyed
it and... at last! You got some!!!!! Hurrah!!! (I presume).
a more serious note, reading your tome has awakened in
me a slight yearning to do likewise... it's been a long
time since I've been abroad for any length of time (having
grown up there, I regard Nigeria as my home but that was
a quarter of a century ago, yikes!) so I'm now exploring
other travel books to see if this seed of need will nurture
and grow. If it does I'll wager Africa will be the first
that, you have my grateful thanks. Keep up the good work,
I'll keep an eye out for more of your work.
I just had to say a few words about the book.
picked up a copy of the book while visiting the emerald
isle myself. A few
days later and I had read it cover to cover! Although
I had just arrived I
felt as though I had travelled the whole country with
you. Unfortunately, it
was only a brief visit, but I intend to return and will
no doubt use both
this book, and your forthcoming travel guide along the
for a great read and many more to come!
Porter (Evesham, Worcestershire)
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