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Twenty-five years after Laughing in the Hills, his racetrack classic, Bill Barich tells the story of how he fell in love and found a new life in Dublin, where he was soon caught up in the Irish obsession with horses and luck. Barich travels his adopted country and meets the leading trainers and jockeys; the beleaguered bookies who work rain or shine; and a host of passionate, like-minded fans—from Father Sean Breen, the “Racing Priest,” to T. P. Reilly, whose peculiar betting system turns on a horse’s looks.
Witty, philosophical, and vividly written, A Fine Place to Daydream is a paean to the real Ireland, a moving tale of a surprise romance, and a thrilling account of a hugely exciting season at the track.
“An easy, fluid stylist, Barich writes entertainingly about anything, but in Irish racing he has grabbed on to a good thing. . . . Samuel Johnson could not have said it better.”
—The New York Times
“Like a horse that senses the ability of its rider and responds accordingly, readers know when they are immersed in the work of a master. Barich makes a winning companion–he's warm, funny and relaxed.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Captivating. . . . Mr. Barich recaptures much of the feel and compass of his first narrative of the equine life, once again weaving a broad tartan from scores of interviews with inhabitants of every corner of the horseracing industry.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“The author, who a quarter century ago in Laughing in the Hills found inherent majesty in the broken-down plugs that race on the Northern California circuit, embraces Irish jumpers with similar enthusiasm.”