The Clare Herald Book Review – This Is The Burren

The Clare Herald Book Review – This Is The Burren


this_is_the_burrenOur book reviewer, Sally Vince, looks at books about Clare or by a Clare-based author. This time Sally reviews This is the Burren by Carsten Krieger.

Carsten Krieger lives in Loop Head and is a well-respected photographer with a number of books to his name. Recently we reviewed Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way [here], which of course had pictures of the Burren in it. This is the Burren though is, as is obvious, a whole book of photos of the Burren. And it is GORGEOUS.

In the foreword, local author P. J. Curtis calls Carsten a poet-artist to describe his capturing of the Burren through a lens. I think that is a superb description of Carsten’s work.

The 175 pages of this hardback book are in four sections:

Landscape – There are photos of all areas of the Burren: sea, rock, lakes, mountains and woodland, as well as photos of caves and underground streams. The text accompanying the photos is lyrical and informative, giving explanations of place names, geology, and what it would have looked like in the past. It’s all totally fascinating, and a lot of it was new to me.

Heritage – Ring forts (of which there are many on the Burren), churches, holy wells, high crosses and castles, famine roads and cottages. The text gives a brief history of settlement in the Burren.

Wildlife – There are photos of flowers galore, as you’d expect from a landscape with such an abundance of wildflowers, for which the Burren is world famous. But there is plenty of animal life as well – moths, snails, lizards, frogs and bees, bats and swans and geese, foxes and of course the feral goats.

People & Places – This section showcases the businesses and individuals who make their livelihoods on or from the Burren, together with the towns and villages they live in.

The whole is a remarkable book of stunning photos and fascinating prose. It is clear that the photographer-author (poet-artist) loves this special area of the world. Carsten’s photographs are beautiful and their composition speaks volumes about his passion for the unique area of the Burren.

There are pictures of places I have not been to, even though the Burren is on my doorstep and I have visited often, and it makes me want to get out my map and do some proper exploring and really see what is there.

This book will make a perfect gift for anyone who is living, has lived, or would like to live in the Burren, or for travellers passing through who want a reminder of what they have seen and what they might have missed. And if you don’t receive it as a gift, it is well worth buying your own copy – you will look at it over and over again. rrp €19.99 is an incredibly reasonable price for a hardback book of this quality.

Available from:
Local shops and visitor attractions
The Collins Press
Kenny’s, Ireland (free worldwide postage)

Find the author here

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.