Flann O'Brien

The Complete Novels

By Flann O'Brien; Keith Donohue (Introduction by)
(Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9780307267498, 787pp.)

Publication Date: January 8, 2008

List Price: $30.00*
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Description

Flann O'Brien, along with Joyce and Beckett, is part of the holy trinity of modern Irish literature. His five novels-collected here in one volume-are a monument to his inspired lunacy and gleefully demented genius.

O'Brien's masterpiece, "At Swim-Two-Birds, "is an exuberant literary send-up and one of the funniest novels of the twentieth century. The novel's narrator is writing a novel about another man writing a novel, in a Celtic knot of interlocking stories. The riotous cast of characters includes figures "stolen" from Gaelic legends, along with assorted students, fairies, ordinary Dubliners, and cowboys, some of whom try to break free of their author's control and destroy him.

The narrator of "The Third Policeman," who has forgotten his name, is a student of philosophy who has committed murder and wanders into a surreal hell where he encounters such oddities as the ghost of his victim, three policeman who experiment with space and time, and his own soul (who is named "Joe").

"The Poor Mouth," a bleakly hilarious portrait of peasants in a village dominated by pigs, potatoes, and endless rain, is a giddy parody aimed at those who would romanticize Gaelic culture. A naIve young orphan narrates the deadpan farce "The Hard Life, " and "The Dalkey Archive "is an outrageous satiric fantasy featuring a mad scientist who uses relativity to age his whiskey, a policeman who believes men can turn into bicycles, and an elderly, bar-tending James Joyce. With a new Introduction by Keith Donohue
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)




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 Donohue is the national bestselling author of the novels "The Stolen Child", "The Angels of Destruction", and "Centuries of June"." "His work has been translated in two dozen languages, and his articles have appeared in "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post", among other publications. A graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Donohue also holds a Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America. He lives in Wheaton, Maryland.
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