The Complete Novels
At Swim-two-birds ; The Third Policeman ; The Poor Mouth ; The Hard Life ; The Dalkey ArchiveBook - 2007
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 naïve 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
Baker & Taylor
A definitive compilation of novels by the acclaimed twentieth-century Irish author features the acclaimed At Swim-Two-Birds, a novel about a man writing a novel and the characters who revolt against their author, as well as The Third Policeman, The Poor Mouth, The Hard Life, and The Dalkey Archive.
A compilation of five novels by one of the leading novelists of modern Irish literature features such works as "At Swim-Two-Birds," "The Third Policeman," and "The Poor Mouth."