Two young orphans, Finbarr and Manus, are taken into the household of the eccentric Mr Collopy where they grew up surrounded by the smells of good whiskey and bad cooking. Manus proves to be a business genius, and this talent takes him from teaching people to walk the tightrope by correspondence course to the Vatican.The greatest satirical Irish writer of the twentieth-century turns his attention to the garrulous Irish and vividly captures the wit, extravagance and glory of their talk.

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