There are some guide books that talk down to you, others that sneer at the place you're choosing to visit - and then there are the ones that make you feel like you're being shown around by an interesting and knowledgeable friend. 'Waking Up In Dublin: A Musical Tour of the Celtic Capital' by Neil Hegarty can be placed firmly in the latter category.
Although it may not age well, this is a topical look at a very contemporary Dublin. Hegarty is a confiding and genial guide through Dublin's disparate music scene, ranging from the obvious - indie rock and trad music - to the slightly more obscure, in the form of the Dublin Gospel Choir and the Lost in Bar 20 salon at the Contemporary Music Centre. Discursive and inclusive, he includes information on venues, pubs and coffee shops - with a particular emphasis on the Queen of Tarts - alongside his own musings and observations about music in Dublin.
Although Hegarty is given to the occasional digression, some of which are not at all relevant, he paints a vivid picture of a city that seems to be bursting with talent and opportunities for those interested in attending or participating in musical events. Notwithstanding the awful subtitle, 'Waking Up In Dublin' is not just for tourists, being instead a book that will inspire visitors and inhabitants alike.