‘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
Border between Greece and Bulgaria
There were three men against the back wall with AK-47s. They were unshaven, unmoving, and looked as if the last time they smiled there was blood on the ground. They glared at me and there was an even chance that I was the first American they’d ever seen. Communism had just fallen and, since no system of law, order or enforcement had yet taken its place, these men had become all of those things.
They were guarding the ‘businessmen’ that I was meeting with in a rural village in Bulgaria, businessmen who were money changers, importers/exporters, and a rural ex-party mafia rolled into one. I was here to sell a tractor, the first modern western tractor in the country as far as any of us knew, and though I didn’t want to be negotiating with ‘businessmen’ like these, there was no choice. They could move large equipment; they had money; and they had protection. Continue reading
“I don’t understand these people trying to help animals when there’s so much human suffering in the world. Shouldn’t they be helping humans instead?”
I was asked this question at dinner the other day. One of the characters in my novel, The Last Island, is an animal rights activist. The questioner thought that her passion, like that of many other animal activists, was misplaced. I answered the question as best I could at the time, but after some thought I realized that my response was inadequate. I’ve since come to a new conclusion. Continue reading
‘The Last Island’ was the Number 1 bestseller at Amazon Australia this week, holding the No. 1 position in both ‘Literary Fiction’ and ‘Contemporary Fiction’ simultaneously.
In addition, as many of you know, the novel recently hit bestseller status in the United Kingdom as well.
Many thanks to my publisher, Betimes Books, for their ongoing support and to everyone who has helped spread the word.
In addition, in September, for those of you in Southern California, my short play, ‘Offline Daters,’ will be presented with some other short plays in an evening called ‘Legends,’ produced by the New Play Cafe.
I’ll provide more details as the opening date approaches.
Thanks again to all.
And for those who haven’t read it yet, the novel is available worldwide here: The Last Island.
After the first few weeks, I didn’t know what day it was.
By that, I don’t mean that I didn’t know if it was a Monday or a Tuesday. I didn’t know if it was a Monday or a Saturday. The only day I ever knew that summer was Sunday, which was marked by church bells and the voices of the psaltes (singers) in the nearby churches.
Once the churches quieted, that day unraveled like every other day, until again, on some seemingly distant and arbitrary morning, the psaltes would be heard and I would know it was Sunday again. Continue reading
‘The Last Island’ is one of three Finalists in the Contemporary Fiction category of the 2014 San Diego Book Awards.
In addition, the novel was recently an Amazon Literary Bestseller in the U.K.
Thanks so much to everyone for their support.
All the recommendations, shares, retweets, purchases and reviews are sincerely appreciated.
And if you haven’t read it yet, the novel is available worldwide here: The Last Island.
“If your age could understand, children,
Full many counsels I could give.”
Greek tragedies play out like no others, as if to remind us of the work of their ancient masters. As there once was a plague in Sophocles’ Thebes, there is now a plague upon the Greek economy. Continue reading