Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Non-Fiction

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Non-Fiction

Article excerpt

Title: No News at Throat Lake Author: Lawrence Donegan Data: Pocket Books, 25 pages, $23.95

Review by Jean Patteson

Anyone who has ever motored through the Irish countryside and spotted a whitewashed cottage tucked behind a fuchsia hedge has probably wondered: What would it be like to swap the big-city rat race for such picturesque tranquility?

Lawrence Donegan, a Scottish pop star turned journalist with London's Guardian newspaper, decided to find out -- and shares his insights in this lively, funny, touching memoir. A couple of years ago, he traded fame, fortune and a steady girlfriend for a damp cottage and subsistence-wage job on a small, bi-monthly newspaper in remote County Donegal.

Hunting for news in a place where news rarely happens introduces Donegan to people and events that tourists rarely encounter. No News at Throat Lake is an entertaining, enlightening account of daily life in rural Ireland -- the ever-present economic hardships, but also the passion for family, politics, religion and sport.

His assignments range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

He interviews Meryl Streep, his lifelong heartthrob, when she attends the local premiere of her movie, Dancing at Lughnasa, which was filmed in County Donegal. He digs for dirt -- but doesn't find much -- on Creeslough native Bernard Lafferty, the butler and companion of Hollywood heiress Doris Duke.

But he also covers a beauty pageant where all the contestants must be named Mary, joins the local Gaelic football team although he hasn't a clue about the rules, and visits a small island where the chief entertainment after dark is admiring the new street lights. Such gems as this give wonderful glimpses into what it actually would be like to live behind the picture-postcard facade that tourists touring Ireland see. …

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