A Long Farewell, by John Hagan, explores themes that include friends and heroes, epiphany, coming of age, futile pursuit, lost love, arcane experience, and ironies of life. Although his stories are fictional, John endeavors to provide feasible characters, dynamics, places, and events. Relying on these characteristics, he strives for realistic slices of life, coupled with plausible resolutions. While Baby Boomers, Irish, educators, students, and horse lovers will find much of the familiar in A Long Farewell, all readers who have at times contemplated childhood memories, old flames, painful and pleasant reminders, weird phenomena, zany circumstances, and professional dilemmas may discover that each story touches something recognizable in their lives. Enter the world of John's characters and participate in experiences that sometimes reveal flawed but very human responses to the vicissitudes of life.