At Swim-Two-Birds

Flann O'Brien

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At Swim-Two-Birds

At Swim Two Birds 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

  • Title: At Swim-Two-Birds
  • Author: Flann O'Brien
  • ISBN: 9780140181722
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 ultimateA 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.

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      Posted by:Flann O'Brien
      Published :2018-06-27T06:40:30+00:00

    One thought on “At Swim-Two-Birds

    1. Fionnuala on said:

      I finished this book late last night and when I woke this morning the last scene of a very vivid dream was still imprinted in full colour on my mind. In the dream I had been searching for something, google searching, and a google page filled my vision, a page to which I’d been led by a bizarre mistype: jiethleef.Oh, drat - so much for that promising beginning. I took a break for a coffee after writing a long paragraph based on linking that dream to having finished At Swim Two Birds late last n [...]

    2. Riku Sayuj on said:

      Did not think that anything more zany than the 'Third Policeman' was possible (people who like 'Lost' should check the book out, by the way) On my first read of this book (in 2009) I was too entranced with the main plot device of the characters plotting against the author, etc and probably overlooked the insane ironies, the scathing parodies and the Joycean aspects. Consider: Flann O’Brien offers the reader three possible openings and even has his narrator remark that a satisfactory novel shou [...]

    3. Geoff on said:

      A Review Composed of Interrogatives and SpeculationsWhat are we to make of At Swim-Two-Birds? Despite the fact of its being one of the laugh-out-loud funniest, most absurdly and grossly comedic, most intelligent novels I’ve ever read, At Swim-Two-Birds is simultaneously profoundly cruel, cruelly profound, unsettling, and causes such a discord with the idea of imaginative reality and authority in fiction that I would say that the overall effect of reading the book is something akin to a blend o [...]

    4. Ian "Marvin" Graye on said:

      "Piteous Though Such Fraud Be"The epigraph in Greek script at the beginning of the novel reads "for all things change, making way for each other".It comes from the following passage of Euripides’ "Heracles":Amphitryon:"Daughter, there may yet be a happy escape From present troubles for me and you; My son, your husband, may yet arrive. So calm yourself, and wipe those tears From your children's eyes, And soothe them with soft words, Inventing a tale to delude them, Piteous though such fraud be. [...]

    5. knig on said:

      Here is how this goes. On an intellectual level, at Swim two Birds is nonpareil. Its like watching an expert surgeon performing keyhole surgery par excellence: not a wrong move, each clinical motion precisely fitted and flowing effortlessly into the next: a symphony of elegantly executed literary manoeuvres which coalesce discrete etudes into a continuo of cohesiveness: no faults. Not a one. Innovative, large, yet humble, sprawling, yet mindful of an epicentre, gargantuan ambition anchored in re [...]

    6. David on said:

      Flann O'Brien is surely Ireland's most neglected writer. Though his talent was on a par with the genius of his contemporaries, Joyce and Beckett, he has never come close to achieving the same degree of recognition. There are several possible explanations for this. The simplest is that Joyce and Beckett managed to cut the umbilical cord - though Mother Ireland featured large in their writing, they both managed to make an escape, living the latter part of their lives in exile. This might not seem [...]

    7. Matt on said:

      Cannot wait to start this one. Highly recommended, a couple of fun little bookstore investigations, just chomping at the bit. This book is going to be amazing. I can tell already.***and it WAS great. I had it on a four star basis throughout most of the reading, due to the metafictional thing leaving me just the slightest bit dry and confused, just can't abide being TOO alienated from the story. But the last 20 pages brought me back and achieved an unexpected tenderness and a lyrical glow (availa [...]

    8. Paul Bryant on said:

      This is a seriously lovely inch perfect parabola of joy which everyone ought to at least try. Go on! You know you want to. All right, you didn't know you wanted to. But i know you better than that! Would I lie? How long have we known each other now? Well then, have I ever recommended a duff book? Name one. There, you can't. I admit that At Swim Two birds won't be everybody's slice of schwarzwälder kirschtorte. Probably some will stumble away pallid and looking like they've spent a week with a m [...]

    9. K.D. Absolutely on said:

      At Swim-To-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan under the non de plueme Flann O’Brien. At one time, he also used a pen name Myles na Coppaleen (Myles of the Little Horses) taken from the character in Dion Boucicault’s play The Colleen Bawn. When my brother and I learned about this other pseudonym we thought that O’Brien might have some naughty Filipino friends or relatives. Myles could be a name of an Irish person, male or female. Then na Coppaleen is, in Filipino language [...]

    10. Aubrey on said:

      3.5/5But which of us can hope to probe with questioning finger the dim thoughts that flit in a fool's head.I will admit, I liked The Third Policeman better. I will also admit to holding this as the better book, one with recognizable traces of TTP amidst so much more. There, alongside the author's singular wit and superb hand at mixing the pragmatic with the absurd until neither can tell which is the other, is performance, is parody, is a supreme consideration of reality's dance with fiction both [...]

    11. Spiros on said:

      Ok, it's official: I got to page 127, and I GIVE UP. There were parts at the beginning of this book which I quite enjoyed. Unfortunately, after slogging through the last 80 or so pages of random witterings, I can't remember what they were or why I enjoyed them. A few casual impressions that I was left with: 1. "What do you read, my lord? Words, words, words." -HAMLET, Act II, scene 2 2. I am reasonably certain that, had I read this book in high school, I would have eaten it up; I would have read [...]

    12. Adam Floridia on said:

      This is a testament to why I love : I don't think I ever would have stumbled across this singularly unique gem without it. The book almost defies review because it defies all literary conventions; however, it does so in such an overt and parodic manner that it never becomes tedious reading. I suppose it's like the ying to Beckett's yang--both completely discount plot, but one is lighthearted and comical while the other is laborious and depressing.The absurdity of the book is always right on the [...]

    13. Cody on said:

      Good news! My “No Dogs, No Irish” sign has officially been removed from above the front door. My Irish wife will be ecstatic!You know what I’m going to do for you good kids? I’m going to explain, in intricate and hyper-articulate fashion, why At Swim-Two-Birds is a perfect novel. I’m going to do this in such a manner that even Flann O’Brien would be jealous. I am going to deconstruct the entire novel and build it up again, expanding upon the work where I see fit. Then, for my second [...]

    14. Justin Evans on said:

      I'm glad I can write a review of this without giving it a rating, that's for sure. The last thing I need is to be assaulted by legions of self-consciously intellectual and/or hip readers decrying my inability to 'get it,' because I gave a crappy rating to a probably interesting book. Instead I can write a review which such readers won't bother reading and perhaps save you the effort of picking the book up, or, alternatively, help you discover that this is a book of the type that you enjoy. But s [...]

    15. Libby on said:

      If I was to be stranded on a desert island for the rest of my life and could only take one book with me this would be it. It is so complex and rich that every new reading reveals details previously missed and perspectives not previously considered. The Pooka MacPhellimey and the Good Fairy are just genius. "Afterwards, near Lad Lañe Pólice Station a small man in black fell in with us and tapping me often about the chest, talked to me earnestly on the subject of Rousseau, a member of the French [...]

    16. João Carlos on said:

      Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan) (1911 - 1966)“Uma Caneca de Tinta Irlandesa” no original ”At Swim-Two-Birds" foi publicado em 1939 e é o primeiro livro do escritor irlandês Flann O'Brien, pseudónimo de Brian O'Nolan (1911 - 1966). Descrever o enredo de “Uma Caneca de Tinta Irlandesa” não é tarefa fácil. O narrador, sem nome, é um indolente estudante universitário de literatura irlandesa que vive com o seu tio Brinsley, um solteirão respeitável e complacente, que trabalha na fá [...]

    17. Oscar on said:

      Comedia, sátira, surrealismo, metaliteratura, mitología irlandesa, demonios, duendes, beodos, metafísica, fábulas, historias de historias de historias, y mucha cerveza, de todo esto nos habla Flann O’Brien en la que fue su primera novela, ‘En Nadar-dos-pájaros’ (At Swim-Two-Birds, 1939).La novela se inicia con un joven estudiante, bastante haragán, al que su tío no deja de incordiar para que abra algún libro de vez en cuando, y que dedica su tiempo de ocio para escribir una novela. [...]

    18. Gökçen Cansu Solter Aydıner on said:

      Kitaba geçmeden önce biraz yazarından bahsetmek istiyorum çünkü bu ilginç İrlandalı yazar ülkemizde neredeyse hiç tanınmıyor. Arkadaşlarım arasında şimdiye dek bu yazarı okumuş birine de rastlamadım. Zaten ben de ilk defa okuyorum. Brian O’Nolan, ilk romanı “Ağaca Tüneyen Sweeny”yi (At Swim-Two-Birds) 1939’da Flann O’Brien imzasıyla yazdığında 28 yaşındaymış. Kitabın ilk baskısı 6 ay içinde 244 adet satmış ki tam da Londra’daki yayınevinin deposu [...]

    19. Dokuyucu on said:

      Bambaşka bir kültüre ait, bambaşka bir zamandan kopup gelen bir kitap Ağaca Tüneyen Sweeny. Hakkında yorum yapmanın zor olduğu, istesek de aşamayacağımız mesafelerle varolan kitaplardan. O yüzden herkesin el üstünde tuttuğu böylesi bir kitap hakkında konuşmak konusunda çekimserim. Fakat naçizane, ben bir "başyapıtla" karşılaşmadım. Okuyucu olmanın öznelliğine sığınarak rahatlıkla söylemek gerekirse: Beklediğimi bulamadım.

    20. Miriam on said:

      A story within a novel-in-progress within a frame narrative compounded with an interlocking series of jests.

    21. Juan on said:

      "Shanahan at this point inserted a brown tobacco finger in the texture of the story and in this manner caused a lacuna in the palimpsest"This is how the narrator describes Shanahan's interruption of the story being written by Orlick Trellis (son of the author/protagonist) of a story in which all of them are characters, at the point where Orlick introduces Shanahan, yet again, as a character of the story he is now writing (yes, that's how convoluted it gets).There can hardly be a better term than [...]

    22. Luís Miguel on said:

      Um escritor para escritores, pois foram Borges, Joyce e Greene que o democratizaram. Em "At Swim-Two-Birds" discutimos livros dentro de livros, autores e personagens que se sabotam uns aos outros, pais contra filhos enfim, porque não dizer que é um livro sobre cerveja e literatura? Duas das coisas para as quais vivo. Concretamente, um jovem estudante irlandês escreve três inícios para um livro. Entretanto, bebe amiúde aquele escuro malte vítreo com os amigos, escapando à tutela conservad [...]

    23. Bruce on said:

      The unnamed narrator, a dissolute university student badly neglecting his studies, explains to his friends-in-drink, with countless diversions, the novel he is writing about Mr. Delmot Trellis, a slothful and dissolute inhabitant of an inn, who in turn is writing a novel about a character, inter alia, who is born middle-aged. Our primary narrator describes, among other information, his theory of writing novels, including his conviction that characters need not be developed de novo but should be [...]

    24. Petra on said:

      I don't know how to adequately review this book. It's beyond strange.Basically the story of a student who would rather sleep and drink than go to class (who wouldn't, right?) who writes a story about a writer who is writing a story. The characters of the fictional writer turn against him and start to live their lives on their own. Sounds like a good premise, right? It is. There are so many twists and turns. Yet it's told in such a way that it's truly hard to follow. I recognized good writing, so [...]

    25. Jason on said:

      Okay, I was supposed to read this mother in grad school, but I was too busy: drinking or playing basketball or eating lunch with Chad or working out or trying to sleep with one of my classmates/students/neighbors or the vaguely French-looking chick at Al's that played rad songs on the jukebox. In any case I didn't read much of it then because, well, it is a difficult book for all-time fuckups to read. Here's the deal, I read it today. All of it. In one day. Why? Because it is fucking hilarious a [...]

    26. David Lentz on said:

      Flann O'Brien is a wit, a shaman, a pooka and a conjurer. Call him Finn MacCool from Finnegan's Wake. Is the plot original? 'Tis. Is the story outrageously funny in places? It is very satisfactory. Is the dialogue masterful? Absolutely. Does he rank with Joyce, Beckett and Yeats? Sorry, no. Although he is often compared to them, this Irish literary triumvirate occupy a celestial sphere outside Flann's lesser luminary sphere. Is it close? Not really. I loved the book and William H. Gass in his in [...]

    27. Hadrian on said:

      This was a lot of fun to read. It's not a novel in the traditional sense, but several stories mashed together, and the characters rebel from the author at one point and so forth and so forth. Cowboy stories, trials, and Irish mythology. It's almost confusing, but very entertaining. I'll be reading more Flann O'Brien soon enough.

    28. Stef Smulders on said:

      Too difficult for a non native speaker. Seems fun though.

    29. Northpapers on said:

      A few posts ago, I introduced my actual readers in cyberspace to my Host of Imaginary Readers (HIR), who question pretty much everything I write, and don't like me as a thinker, a builder of sentences, or as a person in general. The HIR badgers me every time I sit down to work on my novel, and the only thing that allows me to move forward under their crippling attacks is the fact that they're not really there.I thought I had it pretty bad with my unseen critics, until I read Flann O'Brien's laby [...]

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