‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ by Flann O’Brien.
Not one of my three sisters is a loud, dirty, boozy girl. That’s probably a good thing for them — as well as me. But if one or two or all of them were, I would give them this book if only because Dylan Thomas, that loud, dirty, boozy poet, said I should.
Even without that recommendation, how can anyone resist a novel that reflects on the humanity of kangaroos, including “the kangaroolity of women and your wife beside you?”
Or one that offers an occasional “summary of what has gone before, for the benefit of new readers?”
Or one where an author sleeps with one of his own characters and conceives a child, who then goes on to write a book about what a terrible writer his father is?
Joyce loved it, so did Beckett and Graham Greene and Jorge Luis Borges, and Brendan Gleeson is trying to turn it into a movie. It’s Flann O’Brien’s ‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ and one of my favorite novels. Go on, find yourself a loud, dirty, boozy girl and give it to her.
Of course, if that doesn’t suit you, you can try my novel, which is available here: The Last Island
4 thoughts on “Novel Recommendation”
This book has stuck with my since I first read it in college. Think it’s about time for a reread. Thanks so much for reminding me.
Hi Melissa. I re-read it about once a year, myself.
Is it possible that any literate adult over the age of sixteen has not yet read “At swim – two – birds”? Obviously, I am exaggerating, but it is one that should not be missed. …absurdity at it’s best.
I agree. Should not be missed. But O’Brien is relatively unknown in the U.S. — though this is starting to change.