Last Night’s Fun

Ciaran Carson
Last Night's Fun

A Book About Irish Traditional Music

This is a book in the shape of a night’s music. Each chapter is given the title of a tune, and like a session played by brilliant improvising musicians each tune leads into another, melodies and variations weaving in and out in a haze of talk and memory. Here is evocation of music of a ruthlessly unsentimental kind, but also polemic, autobiography and poetry. The reader is drawn into the atmosphere of the world in which the music is made – a player’s music that is never the same twice, and which lives in performance and spontaneity. Listening to traditional music is an unrepeatable experience, so this book about the poignancy of lost airs, about music as ‘a way of renegotiating lost time’ and
knowing that we will die, as well as instruments, styles and songs. Ciaran Carson’s memories hold his extraordinary performance together – remembering how he learned to play, evoking the beauty of fugitive nights in pubs, honouring the memory dead players.

‘After only a few pages it became clear to me that the Devil has not got the best tunes – this man writes like an angel, a recording angel, unreeling from his memory such a sweetly rumbustious beguilement of Irish music, food, drink, nights, days and portable metaphysics that this book is simply not to be done without’ Russell Hoban

‘Quixotic and visionary’ Iain Sinclair

‘Carson spins out his variations on a theme with pyrotechnical brilliance.’ John Banville, Observer

‘One of the most stunningly original books ever written about music, musicians and the love of the gig.’ Brian Case, Time Out


  • Random House

Material: English PDF