At Swim-Two-Birds

At Swim-Two-Birds

3.9 8
by Flann O'Brien
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Dalkey Archive Press

Editorial Reviews

New Republic
“At Swim-Two-Birds is a marvel of imagination, language, and humor.”
Graham Greene
“At Swim-Two-Birds has remained in my mind ever since it first appeared as one of the best books of our century. A book in a thousand . . . in the line of Ulysses and Tristram Shandy.”
Philip Toynbee
“If I were a cultural dictator in England I would make At Swim-Two-Birds compulsory reading in all universities.”
Anthony Burgess
“Flann O'Brien is unquestionably a major author. His work, like that of
Joyce, is so layered as to be almost Dante-esque. . . . Joyce and Flann
O'Brien assault your brain with words, style, magic, madness, and unlimited invention.”
Chicago Tribune
“At Swim-Two-Birds is both a comedy and a fantasy of such staggering originality that it baffles description and very nearly beggars our sense of delight.”
Washington Post
“'Tis the odd joke of modern Irish literature—of the three novelists in its holy trinity, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien, the easiest and most accessible of the lot is O'Brien. . . . Flann O'Brien was too much his own man, Ireland's man, to speak in any but his own tongue.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564781819
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Series:
Irish Literature Series
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
142,304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
1120L (what's this?)

What People are saying about this

James Joyce
"That's a real writer, with the true comic spirit. A really funny book."
Philip Toynbee
"If I were a cultural dictator in England I would make At Swim-Two-Birds compulsory reading in all universities."

Meet 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.

William Gaddis (1922-98) stands among the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. The winner of two National Book Awards (for "J R" [1976] and "A Frolic of His Own" [1995]), he wrote five novels during his lifetime, including "Carpenter's Gothic "(1985), "Agap? Agape" (published posthumously in 2002), and his early masterpiece "The Recognitions" (1955). He is loved and admired for his stylistic innovations, his unforgettable characters, his pervasive humor, and the breadth of his intellect and vision.

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