Some Irish people might remember Eddie Lenihan’s Ten minute tales from children’s tv back in the eighties. If not you should see if you can find some of his videos on YouTube, it looks like none of the Ten Minute Tales are up any more, but you’ll find enough to get the idea.
My memories of those tales were enough to make me pick up this book when I spotted it, despite the horrible cover. I mean, Mercier Press, what were you thinking with that!
There are two stories in the book, The Druid of Feakle’s Toothshop and How spitting became an art in Ireland, both starring Fionn and the Fianna and their exploits. The first is entertaining enough; it tells the story of how since the warriors of the Fianna have lost many teeth over the course of their battles they go searching for a druid’s help to improve the situation, but the end up getting involved in a much darker story than they’d expected.
The second story I thought was wonderful and hilarious. All about how Fionn getting the flu leads to a new sport being invented and spreading all across Ireland. It’s brilliant.
I’d really love to hear Lenihan himself tell them, because if you’ve ever watched him tell a story you’d know he is a master at it.