Published Jan 2010
Flann O’Brien’s first novel is a brilliant impressionistic jumble of ideas, mythology and nonsense. The story operates on many levels incorporating plots within plots, giving full rein to O’Brien’s dancing intellect and Celtic wit. The undergraduate narrator lives with his uncle in Dublin, drinks too much with his friends and invents stories peopled with hilarious and unlikely characters, one of whom, in a typical O’Brien conundrum, invents a means by which women can give birth to full-grown people. Flann O’Brien’s mastery of farce, satire and fantasy was remarkable and At Swim-Two-Birds is an unforgettable book.