The Best of Myles Na Gopaleen by Kevin O'Nolan Flann O'Brien

The Best of Myles Na Gopaleen
ISBN 0246131446
  • Author:
    Kevin O'Nolan Flann O'Brien
  • Title:
    The Best of Myles Na Gopaleen
  • Category:
  • Subcategory:
    United States
  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Grafton; New Ed edition (1987)
  • Pages:
  • Size PDF version
    1983 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1445 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1754 kb
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The best comic writer I can think of.--S.J. Perelman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. A collection of the best pieces from the first five years of Flann O'Brien's "Cruiskeen Lawn" column, the column he wrote for "The Irish Times" from 1940-66 under the name of Myles na Gopaleen.

This is one of the world's cleverest, funniest books. I received it as a gift many decades ago, thought it brilliant, but once made the mistake of reading it while sitting in the sun beside a public swimming pool. My repeated involuntary guffaws drew inquisitive glances from strangers. Alas, I lent the book to a friend, never got it back, and missed it for ages. Thanks to Google, I recently found it online, sold as a used paperback through Amazon. I have now bought four copies (v inexpensive), three of them to gift to smart friends.

The book is actually a compilation of newspaper columns for the Irish Times written by the novelist Flann O'Brien under the pseudonym of Miles na Gopaleen. With merciless wit, he aims barbs at self-important art critics, popular cliches, ridiculous legal proceedings, and foreign commentators of Irish literature and architecture, while he reserves affectionate mockery for The Plain People of Ireland and their icon, The Brother. English is the main language but there are hilarious sprinkles of Latin, as well as occasional bursts of Gaelic that I am not equipped to comment on.

There can't be that many used copies of this masterpiece still available, so my advice is to buy a copy without delay.
Flann O'Brien was one of the best writers of the 20th Century, full stop. His disposition was the very definition of "antic." He was erudite, cavalier, frolicsome, masterful. He was not very good at sustained narrative; his short, off-the-cuff pieces are best. Many years ago I was a "Joycean scholar," and Mr O'Brien pleases me for many of the reasons I loved Joyce. True, O'Brien's work is shallower, more decorative, but the fireworks are beautiful.
The Best of Myles

Marvelous, Flann O'Brien (whose real name was Brian O'Nolan aka Myles na Gopaleen) was a marvelous writer. The depth of his literary imagery is breathtaking, although perhaps this is better on display in his novel "At Swim-Two-Birds". Raised in Ireland in a Gaelic speaking home, but entirely conversant in English and other languages we, the readers, are the beneficiaries. An appropriate quotation from the book at this point might be, "while the average English speaker gets along with 400 words, the Irish-speaking peasant uses 4,000.....the 400/4,000 is fallacious; 400/400,000 would be more like it." A writer's mind conditioned in this way can be very formidable indeed. This book consists of a collection of humorous columns on a vast array of subjects which was first published in the Irish Times. A people {the Irish} and their culture have a worthy raconteur here....and hilarious, too. Loved the book! GEDTEACH
I've wanted some of his writing for thirty years.
The best book ever written.

Not kidding, nor deluded. The flights of fancy, inventiveness, humor, the incredible mastery of English (and possibly Gaelic, I am lost in those parts unfortunately), the depth of the jokes, the sheer brilliance of the the thoughts beneath the jokes….yeah that's the good s*** right there.
A friend lent me his copy (an Irish edition) of this book five or more years ago, and I've been searching for my own copy ever since. I'm delighted to find it's been reprinted and I just placed my order.
I envy anyone who has not yet read this book of collected columns and essays -- the outrageous details of the Ventriloquists' War, the intricacies of the Catechism of Cliche, and the wisdom of the Brother all await your delighted discovery.
Have a blast.
Great stories. What a brilliant brain and observer of people and situations.
As described - thanks.