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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

©1939 Flann O’Brien (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about At Swim-Two-Birds

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Worth waiting for

I’ve waited for this a long time. O’Brien’s alliteration and phrasing calls for a reader who can make the text sing – and, Alan Smyth is near-perfect in his narration. If you enjoyed “Tristram Shandy” narrated by Anton Lesser, then you’ll like this as well. Thanks, Audible!

3 people found this helpful

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just listen.....

I've read this book 3x over, say, 25 years and listened to it now, recently, in whole or in part, probably 10 times. Funny as hell. Great accent of the reader, too. Really brings this book alive. (one of my all-time favorite books!) in particular, the tripartite discussion throughout, but esp in Ch 8, wherein they confuse Homer and Socrates. I feel like I'm in a pub.

1 person found this helpful

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More tedious than I remembered

Yes, many applaud this, and after all, the novel got a blurb from Joyce Himself. Flann O'Brien's on to a great gimmick--the tale within a tale as characters struggle to get out. Fun set-up, with the hapless slacker creator in his bedroom, doing who knows what. Alan Smyth's reading I picked over Aidan Doyle's for its liveliness. But the plot bogged (!) down and highlights were sporadic. I kept listening, waiting for it to pick up, but it turned out more of an odd slog and a fictional detour than critical favorite. For the newcomer, reading about the life and times of the author in Anthony Cronin's study may be a wise first move.

1 person found this helpful