Book Review: Flann O’Brien’s At Swim Two Birds

A very Irish book or maybe a very Irish writer, depending on how you see it.

If you like Borges, Tristan Shandy or Lewis Carroll, then this might just be for you. We have to thank Graham Greene for getting it published. An odd book by any definition and even odder, I suspect, in the 1940s when first published. So, is it any good? Well. here are a few quotes to give you a taster.


“Put a thief among honest men and they will eventually relieve him of his watch.”

“Evil is even, truth is an odd number and death is a full stop.”

“One beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with. A good book may have three openings entirely dissimilar and inter-related only in the prescience of the author, or for that matter one hundred times as many endings.”

Flann O’Brien (At Swim-Two-Birds)

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