The Hard Life: An Exegesis of Squalor

The Hard Life: An Exegesis of Squalor

by Flann O'Brien
     
 

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Subtitled “An Exegesis of Squalor,” The Hard Life is a sober farce from a master of Irish comic fiction. Set in Dublin at the turn of the century, the novel does involve squalor—illness, alcoholism, unemployment, bodily functions, crime, illicit sex—but also investigates such diverse topics as Church history, tightrope walking, and the pressing

Overview

Subtitled “An Exegesis of Squalor,” The Hard Life is a sober farce from a master of Irish comic fiction. Set in Dublin at the turn of the century, the novel does involve squalor—illness, alcoholism, unemployment, bodily functions, crime, illicit sex—but also investigates such diverse topics as Church history, tightrope walking, and the pressing need for public toilets for ladies. The Hard Life is straight-faced entertainment that conceals in laughter its own devious and wicked satire by one of the best known Irish writers of the 20th century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
O'Brien's 1961 novel is a sober but satirical tale about two Irish orphans growing up at the turn of the century amid the squalor of working-class Dublin. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Critics have placed O'Brien in the upper echelon of Irish novelsts. This 1961 comic novel relates the lives of two orphaned Dublin brothers sent to live with their fiery uncle. ``The conversation is a delight,'' said LJ 's reviewer, ``it seems no Irishman can be dull when talking--and the atmosphere of a lower-middle-class family, with its cheerless, shabby, restricted way of life, is well done'' ( LJ 5/15/62). For all fiction collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564781413
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Edition description:
2nd ed.
Pages:
179
Sales rank:
1,354,139
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.55(d)

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.

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