A selection of recent Amazon reviews
Seanachai reviews. All five star so far.
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel that will get under your skin!
By Chelsey McQuitty on February 14, 2016
Wow—I really love Irish stories and folklore and this one certainly takes the cake. Ever since I studied British Lit, the idea of thousands of stories never being written down but spread by word of mouth enthralled me. Later, of course, monks played their hand in writing down what they could, but no doubt they edited to suit an agenda, which is fairly obvious when you read things like Beowulf. Anyhow, I felt this book was quite natural in the storytelling process, which, I have to admit, creeped me out at some points of the story.
The author’s writing style plays a huge role in the storytelling though. I really enjoyed the way things flowed smoothly and at times I felt like I was being spoken to. The story itself will have you glued to the screen as you read, but it also gets under your skin as if you’ve been reached by the ghost.
I’d highly recommend this to anyone! It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year.
5.0 out of 5 starsA cracking good read
ByMrs J.on 18 April 2016
Intense and satisfying in equal measure- warped and twisted and a glimpse of something to come? Read if you dare!
5.0 out of 5 starsA wonderful and spooky adventure! A GREAT READ!
ByDickieon 21 February 2016
This story is like picking up the chocolate in a box of Quality Street that you know nothing about, only for it to become your favourite in the whole box!
This is a very well researched book which draws upon a rich variety of sources and ancient legends to weave them into a wonderfully exciting and spooky tale.
If you enjoy a good ghost story or are interested in ancient tales and legends of mankind's evolution across the millennia, then you should read this book!
Don't be dissuaded by the low price, it should be a lot more expensive IMHO.
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of imagination with a grain of truth!
Bymint tea on February 13, 2016
This book is delightful because of all the stories to read in it. The plot is also a tale of good and evil that has not been overused. A couple on vacation get a visitor in the middle of the night. He is a storyteller, who they allow to come in, give him something to eat, and are overall hospitable. After he leaves, they see there is no evidence that he has been there, and no one else has seen him. First they think they are crazy or hallucinating, and then they find out what is really going on. I really enjoyed reading the story he told them the first night, and I liked the overall plot of the book. I think it could have been even more interesting if I was more familiar with the geography and cities in Ireland, but that is nothing that takes away from the story.
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Love Love Old Folks tales
By JA Armstrong on February 12, 2016
I Love Love Love Old Folks tales, anything to do with Irish/Scottish heritage and Ghost stories, so I had high hopes for this short novella and it sure did not disappoint. The writing was gripping and drew you in quickly and the plot was intriguing enough that over the course of the book I did not get bored or try to skip ahead. However, I did end up staying late to finish (or rather devour) this book, so beware of that when you get it.
The story begins with a couple traveling through Ireland in the Ring of Kerry area. One night they are visited by a traveling Storyteller (Seanchai), who turns out not to be completely human after all. The stories he tells them, sound familiar and they realize that their own past is woven into the stories they are being told and through this unique perspective, they are moved to action. For Dan this means to start putting his own “ghost” story to paper, and for Kay, she travels back to the small village where she reconnects with her roots: the good and the bad.
This is a very intriguing and unique story. I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves themselves a good mythical tale.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Seanachai was brilliant!
on February 12, 2016
The Seanachai or the bearer of old lore is quite famous throughout the history of Ireland for spinning tales and storytelling. I loved Kay's character and how she mistook the Seanachai for a mental patient. I thought there were parts of the story that were very creepy and I also felt that giving the Seanachai the appearance that the Padraigh did gave this colourful character a great deal of depth. I really enjoyed the story but I have to say I was frightened in some parts and had to put the book down until morning. I would definitely recommend this story especially if you are charmed by the Irish ways.
5.0 out of 5 starsLoved this author's writing and original work. Highly recommended!
By Sierra Klein on February 12, 2016
I absolutely enjoyed this book as I am a fan of Grimm Fairy Tales and other tales alike. This is a fairy/ghost type of story, which I found to be very original. It intervenes Irish myths, both ancient and modern. A young couple decides to take a vacation to a secluded cottage on the Ring of Kerry. One night during their trip, an Irish Tramp wakes them up to tell them stories. They later figure out that this Tramp is more than just a storyteller; possibly a ghost. This gives the young doctor motivation to write his own ghost story. Loved this author's writing and original work. Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 stars It is far and away the best written ghost story I have ever read
Katie Maughan on February 8, 2016
Ok, so this book was seriously intense. It is far and away the best written ghost story I have ever read! It gave me nightmares for days after reading it. Granted, I am a huge whimp when it comes to ghosts and scary stories but this book was scary!
I felt it started off a little bit slow and confusing. There were a lot of Irish names thrown at you real fast and I couldn't really keep up with it. However, it didn't take long for this book to become so captivatingly interesting that i couldn't put it down!
The book takes place in a remote vacation cottage in Ireland, Kays native land. Not long into their stay, the couple experiences an unusual visit from an even more unusual man. It doesn't take them long to realize that man was a ghost and the stories he tells them about past happenings are actually loosely based on events from their past. As they try to get to the root of why the Seanachai is haunting them, they are drug deeper and deeper into the land of ghosts and fairies and are forced to face realities long since forgotten.
I recommend this book if you aren't easily scared like I am. Or, even if you are I guess. it was a still an amazing read!
5.0 out of 5 starsA mythical Irish tale
By H.Taylor on 6 Feb. 2016
Seanachai: The Storyteller's story is based in Ireland but I don't recommend reading late at night. At times it was a little 'make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up' chilling but I did enjoy it. I feel that if you're a fan of The Brothers Grimms ghost/fairytales, you'd certainly enjoy this book. It's not a long novel just approx 235 pages that's broken into 20 chapters making it an easy to read and flow novel.
As the reader we are introduced to a young couple on vacation in a remote cottage on the Ring of Kerry. During the night on their second day they are awaken by what appears to be an Irish Tramp that they discover to be a Seanachai a travelling storyteller but he isn't all human and possibly is a ghost or mythical creature. The stories he tells revolve around old Irish legends but includes the couples past interwoven in them. From hearing the tales the young gentleman is inspired to write his own ghost story and the heroine of the story with Irish heritage listens to the Seanachai's advice and revisits the town of her birth.
This story has the underlying advice that the past needs to be accepted and dealt with as well as believing in mythical beings and the unknown. I enjoyed it a great deal and think it's worth anyone giving it a chance. I'd be happy to read other works by this author.
5.0 out of 5 starsA story of dealing with the past, accepting that mystical creatures
By Mihai on 4 Feb. 2016
'Seanachai - the storyteller's story' offers an interesting rollercoaster insight into the mind of a 'seanchai' - an old, Irish word for storytellers/historians. In addition, back in ancient Celtic history, the laws and history were not written down, but combined in lyrics and poems, recited by bards, in a tradition called 'seanchaithe'.
The novel prevails in mythical aspects specific to an Irish culture, discovered by a young couple visiting Ireland. As they meet the Seanachai, they realise that he is not an actual human being - but rather a mystical one, taking the form of a ghost or something similar. Struggling to face the non-realistic situation, the couple finds itself transposed back by the Seanchai stories in periods of their lives that they rather forgot about - and locked them deep inside of their minds.
A story of dealing with the past, accepting that mystical creatures exist is told through the presence of the seanchai during the whole story.
Interesting and frightening, certainly a challenge to read during the night! :)
5.0 out of 5 starsBewitching
By Mrs E Spicer-Short on 5 Jan. 2016
A well-researched, cleverly crafted story. Written in a very engaging and readable style, I was instantly drawn into the 'fairy-tale' world of the old Irish myths and legends, interspersed with day to day reality (where does one end and the other begin?). I thoroughly recommend this book, thank you Mr Etat for the craic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story from Start to Finish
By Karen Ruggieroon December 8, 2015
This story was amazing! I just got finished reading it, and all I can say is wow. Padraigh Etat sure does have a great deal of talent, which is extremely evident in Seanachai: The Storyteller's Story. This is a modern day ghost story (with some fairy elements mixed in), which is based loosely on some Irish Myths that have been around. When a young couple goes on a holiday together, they are awakened by a storyteller, who inspires the young man (also a doctor), to write a ghost novel of his own. His partner is not too pleased with this idea, but her reasoning become clear as the story continues. His story ends up being a vision of the future, which is an extremely interesting concept. This is a short read, that is sure to hold your attention from the very first page. I highly recommend it, especially if you are an avid reader looking for an incredible story!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Well Written Story
By Amanda on December 7, 2015
I loved this story. Padraigh Etat has a way with words. He tells a tale in the truest fashion of a seasoned storyteller. In this book, not only when the storyteller is talking, there is something about the sequence of words that makes this an amazing story to read. This would be fantastic to have read aloud. He describes his own book in the description of the storyteller’s voice. “His voice held us; the pacing, the cadence, the steadiness and deep flowing timbre that, like his pipe smoke, swirled and eddied around us over us and in us.” It may not be his voice, but the pacing and cadence of the writing style did the same for me as the voice of the storyteller did for the characters in this book. I would suggest this book completely for the writing style alone. The story was great, as were the characters, but the way the story was told made it 100% worth the read. If you want a truly well written story, look no further, you have found it.
A Unique Take
By Veronica on December 7, 2015
Seanachai, The Storyteller's Story, by Padraigh Etat, is unlike any other novel that you'll probably ever read. I found it to be unique and refreshing, and wasn't quite sure what to expect as the story progressed. It is well written, extremely interesting, and pretty easy to follow along with. I love the fact that it is broken up into 20 chapters; makes the story flow better.
This is a fairy/ghost type of mix, which I found to be very original. It intervenes Irish myths, both ancient and modern. A young couple decides to take a vacation to a secluded cottage on the Ring of Kerry. One night during their trip, an Irish Tramp wakes them up to tell them stories. They later figure out that this Tramp is more than just a storyteller; possibly a ghost. This gives the young doctor motivation to write his own ghost story. That's all that I'm going to give away, because I don't want to spoil it too much.
Overall, this was a well written novel that I would highly recommend. I definitely plan on checking out Etat's other works.
5.0 out of 5 stars ‘The God in me was gone, only the miserable flawed human was left and was this to be my end?’
ByGrady HarpHALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 28, 2015
Irish author Padraigh Etat appears to be bowing into the literary scene with this exquisitely crafted short novel that embraces all that is quintessentially Irish in stories and writings. Reflect for a moment on some of the strongest writers of the past and many of them are Irish – James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Yeats, Synge, Swift, Bram Stoker, Brendan Behan, William Trevor, Samuel Beckett, and on and on. And it would appear that if the tunes remain as singable as they appear in this work, Padraigh Etat may be joining them!
We have little biographical information to judge his platform and that may be the better way to open this little book of marvels: it speaks for itself. As the author states, ‘This is an intelligent modern fairy/ghost story in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm. Quintessentially Irish and based loosely on a collection of Irish Myths, ancient and relatively modern. There is an overall mythic schema of the failings of mankind being linked to the failings of the old Gods who made them in their image.’
The author’s synopsis of the book whistles a tale: ‘A young couple go on holiday to a remote cottage on the Ring of Kerry. On the second night they are awakened apparently by an Irish Tramp, he turns out to be a travelling storyteller, and it is soon clear that he is more a mystical figure, perhaps even a ghost. He tells stories based on old Irish legends that seem to interweave with the past and present lives of the young couple. The telling of tales stimulates the young doctor to write his own ghost story, his partner is unimpressed for reasons that later become apparent. The doctor’s tale turns out to be a vision of the future and a link to the world of the Sidhe (Fairies). Kay, the heroine, who is of Irish stock is persuaded by the Seanachai to revisit the Puck Fair in Killorglin the town of her birth. Here the true and unpleasant nature of her childhood is exposed, and Dan’s story is revealed to have been a vision. The couple struggle with the unreality of the situation they find themselves in, but the inexorable logic of the Storyteller pulls them further and further into the world of spirits, fairies and even Gods.’
Padraigh offers pluck at the end – ‘So there you have it. I have written all this down to prove my sanity but maybe I have proved the opposite. I have been in the institution some time now and am no longer on medication. I believe what I have written to be true and hope you do too. They took my notebooks away, and my memory plays tricks. I am hoping that my old friend Pan will put it right.’
A wonderfully refreshing and wildly unique style frame this terrific story. It is one of the more satisfying new works to come down the pike in a while. Grady Harp, November 15
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Mythology
ByRenee Spicuzzaon December 11, 2015
Padraigh Etat’s, “Seanachai: The Storyteller’s Story,” is a fantastic fantasy styled novel that reminds me briefly of the way the Brothers Grimm. The novel uses Irish myths specifically as the focal point, giving it a very interesting air, very different from traditional fairytales that I have read. The main antagonist is the Storyteller who acts as the enchanter, to an extent. He tries to sway a young couple with stories and legends, convincing them to visit the young woman’s homeland, eventually leading to the discovery of her less than ideal past. The Storyteller keeps revisiting, with more riddles that spiral the couple deeper into despair. The darkness that is presented is what brought me to thinking of the Brothers Grimm, but the story is very interesting, even with the similarities. As the story progresses, the darkness starts to engulf the Storyteller as well, making the reader question what he really is, which makes the novel that much more interesting.
5.0 out of 5 stars This brings out both the mystical and realistic fears in our lives.
By Peggy on February 6, 2016
Ancient magic and folklore blended with corrupt modern day. In most of us we long for mystical creatures with incredible beauty, wisdom, and strength. But when a storyteller opens up Dan’s and Kay’s darkest secrets and reveals them, it becomes terrifying to each other. How would you feel if your finance had murdered someone, or people thought your abusive father committed suicide because of his love for you? Padraigh Etat takes the fear we feel of mystical ghosts or creatures and continually builds on our fear with events that could have happened in our lives or someone we know. At the end we find that the things they each had to go through was profiting mankind and furthering the medical field.
A lot of thought and research went into writing this book. Of course my favorite character was Finn, who doesn’t like a spunky leprechaun who is watching out for you.
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical experience
By Simón Gómezon February 4, 2016
A magical tale about a magical time in this magical earth of us, told in a truly magical way.
A young couple travels to Ireland on vacation and find something (or rather someone?), they definitely didn't expect. He introduces himself as The Seanachai, an ancient mystical bard whose mission in this world is to keep alive what is not written, tell stories from generation to generation and teach people the way the deities of our world want us to live. As the Seanachai tells his story, a lot of surprises will come up for the couple and for the reader.
You will be completely spellbound by the Seanachai and his magical strings of words.
A beautifully written novel and a magical experience, with well written characters and perfect storytelling. Seanachai is like nothing you have read ever before.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
ByHaleema Shakuron 8 January 2016
Brilliant! Must read book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
BySara Jane Maltbyon 22 December 2015
Wonderful book - couldn't put it down. Deeply impressed with the scholarship and look forward greatly to the next one
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly crafted tale
ByDr. A. Reed on 18 December 2015
ping tale. It twists and turns and is difficult to put down . Other reviewers have already related the enduring theme. Just for the benefit of readers and to correct one reviewer, the author is not Irish (well most of him) nor is it his first book). Let us all hope it is not his last.
Unique and Interesting Contemporary Novel
By Ashley on February 14, 2016
Seanachai: The Storyteller’s Story by Padraigh Etat is a contemporary tale based on and including ancient Irish myths. Without giving anything away, a couple go on vacation to Ireland where they encounter an Irish storyteller, or Seanachai. The Seanachai encourages the woman to return to her birthplace, also in Ireland, and she is faced with her less-than-perfect childhood. This novel is also interesting in that it uses the ancient Irish myths as a basis for the problems in these current-day protagonists’ lives. Etat’s writing style is also clear, fluid, and cohesive, so the novel’s technical perfection only adds to its enjoyability. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary literature, or even to anyone who enjoys reading and learning about Irish culture and customs. Great read!