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Short Fiction of Flann O'Brien (Irish Literature) Paperback – August 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Irish late modernist writer O'Brien (The Third Policeman, At Swim Two Birds, The Poor Mouth) wrote in Gaelic under the name Brian Ó Nualláin, and in English as Brother Barnabus, Myles na gCopaleen, Lir O'Connor, and Brian Nolan, among others. This present collection contains work from many of these known pseudonymns, with Gaelic stories in translation, as well as the unfinished novel, Slattery's Sago Saga. The variety taken together displays a playful, sardonic voice that is charmingly self-conscious in its invention. In "Scenes in a Novel," for instance, O'Brien's narrator is an author who must reckon with the rebellious characters of a novel he is writing, particularly his anti-hero Carruthers McDaid, "a man…created one night when had swallowed nine stouts and vaguely blasphemous." The story "Two in One" is narrated by Murphy, a taxidermist's assistant who attempts to hide the murder of his boss by wearing the deceased's skin, eventually fusing with it, only to be imprisoned for the crime of killing himself. Mirroring his own ambiguous approach to identity, a myriad cast of characters and voices seem to all jostle for attention, delightful in their assurance that "ot everything in story is as unbelievable as it may seem." (Aug.)

About the Author

Flann O'Brien, whose real name was Brian O'Nolan, also wrote under the pen name of Myles na Gopaleen. He was born in 1911 in County Tyrone. A resident of Dublin, he graduated from University College after a brilliant career as a student (editing a magazine called Blather) and joined the Civil Service, in which he eventually attained a senior position. He wrote throughout his life, which ended in Dublin on April 1, 1966. His other novels include The Dalkey Archive, The Third Policeman, The Hard Life, and The Poor Mouth, all available from Dalkey Archive Press. Also available are three volumes of his newspaper columns: The Best of Myles, Further Cuttings from Cruiskeen Lawn, and At War.

Keith Hopper teaches Literature and Film Studies for Oxford University s Department for Continuing Education and for St Clare s International College, Oxford. He is general editor of the "Ireland into Film" series (2001-2007).

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dalkey Archive Press (August 15, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 159 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 156478889X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1564788894
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 41 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
41 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Mike I London
5.0 out of 5 stars Flann and Myles before Flann and Myles
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2013
7 people found this helpful
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Timothy Gouldson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in Canada on January 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 23, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Irish wit
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2014
John Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Reviewed in Japan on November 7, 2013