At Swim-Two-Birds

      Flann O'Brien

At Swim-Two-Birds

A wildly comic send-up of Irish literature and culture, At Swim-Two-Birds is the story of a young, lazy, and frequently drunk Irish college student who lives with his curmudgeonly uncle in Dublin. When not in bed (where he seems to spend most of his time) or reading he is composing a mischief-filled novel about Dermot Trellis, a second-rate author whose characters ultimately rebel against him and seek vengeance. From drugging him as he sleeps to dropping the ceiling on his head, these figures of Irish myth make Trellis pay dearly for his bad writing.

Hilariously funny and inventive, At Swim-Two-Birds has influenced generations of writers, opening up new possibilities for what can be done in fiction. It is a true masterpiece of Irish literature.

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    The Hard Life

      Flann O'Brien

The Hard Life

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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    The Short Fiction of Flann O'Brien

      Flann O'Brien

The Short Fiction of Flann O'Brien

This riotous collection at last gathers together an expansive selection of Flann O'Brien's shorter fiction in a single volume, as well as O'Brien's last and unfinished novel, "Slattery's Sago Saga." Also included are new translations of several stories originally published in Irish, and other rare pieces. With some of these stories appearing here in book form for the very first time, and others previously unavailable for decades, Short Fiction is a welcome gift for every Flann O'Brien fan worldwide.

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    Rhapsody in Stephen's Green/The Insect Play

      Flann O'Brien

Rhapsody in Stephen's Green/The Insect Play

Using a play by Karl and Josef Capek as source, Flann O'Brien locates his insect drama in Dublin, his most familiar stalking- territory. His adaptation is a vehicle for ridicule and invective, targeting race, religion, greed, identity and purpose. With his extraordinary ear for dialogue, O'Brien creates his own fantastical world, and the outcome is a hilarious satire of Irish stereotypes - as Orangemen, Dubliners, Corkagians and culchies become warring ants, bees, crickets, dung-beetles, and other small-minded invertebrae. The lost text of this play, Hilton Edwards' prompt copy from the 1943 Gate Theatre performance, was discovered in the archives at Northwestern University, Illinois. 'A play by Ireland's most celebrated comic writer, Flann O'Brien, lost for fifty years, has been discovered in the archives of Northwestern University, Illinois, by an American academic. The O'Brien play, Rhapsody in Stephen's Green, was put on in Dublin by the Edwards-MacLiammoir company at the Gaiety Theatre during Lent in 1943 with a cast of 150 - representing millions, as is obligatory with an insect play. But, presumably because of the offence it gave to Catholics, Ulster Protestants, Irish civil servants, Corkmen, and the aspersions it seemed to cast on married life and the superpatriotic Fianna Fail party, it only ran six days and was never again performed ... However it and the context in which it was born - and rapidly snuffed out - gives intriguing insights into neutral Ireland of the 1940s, suffocating in puritanism and insular politics.' Peter Lennon, The Guardian, 17th of November 1994

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    Myles Away From Dublin

      Flann O'Brien

Myles Away From Dublin

Flann O'Brien wrote for the provincial National and Leinster Times, adopting the persona of George Knowall, the quizzical and endlessly enquiring country cousin of the metropolitan Myles of Dublin: it is these pieces that are collected in this volume.

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