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My Oedipus Complex and Other Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Frank O'Connor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2001 0141184477 978-0141184470 New edition
W.B. Yeats credited Frank O'Connor with "doing for Ireland what Chekhov did for Russia". Childhood, sex, religion, respectability and gossip are all recurring themes in the short stories collected here.


Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141184477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141184470
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,711,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Frank O'Connor (1903-1966) is the author of such justly famous works as "Guests of the Nation", "My Oedipus Complex" and "First Confession" and numerous other fine stories, including "The Bridal Night," "The Luceys," and "The Long Road to Ummera." O'Connor published works of fiction and non-fiction continuously from the 1930s to the 1960s. Most recently his biography of Michael Collins, The Big Fellow, has been published by Picador. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
Some kids are cissies by nature but I was a cissy by conviction. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile Stories. 10 Jun 2013
By Pigwin
Format:Paperback
I remembered some of theses stories from my schooldays and Frank O'Connor is a master of that particularly difficult genre, the short story. A bit like the proverbial parson's egg, these stories are good in part but not just good as some are excellent and only a couple are somewhat disappointing.

My personal favourite is Guests of the Nation which is set during the Irish War of Independence and tells the story of two Englishmen who are being held captive by the IRA and who are subsequently executed by the two IRA men charged with guarding them. The earlier part of the story shows the comraderie that develops between the Englishmen, who are decent and gentlemanly, and their IRA captors.

Having carried out the executions both killers are very much affected and one of them, a man called Noble, "saw everything ten times the size, as though there were nothing in the whole world but that little patch of bog with the two Englishmen stiffening into it" but the other killer, the narrator Bonaparte, felt "as if the patch of bog where the Englishmen were was a million miles away ..... and I was somehow very small and very lost and lonely like a child astray in the snow".

But it is the last line of this story that is the most powerful and it is as chilling as it is revealing "And anything that happened to me afterwards, I never felt the same about".

There are many other gems in this collection and some very memorable characters who will stay with the reader long after the stories have been put away.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserves To Be More Well Known 16 Oct 2010
By DRFP
Format:Paperback
As with any short story collection, and especially one taking in such a large body of work as this, there are going to be ups and downs. Some of these stories aren't great: sometimes there's too little focus, not enough of a point. However, for the most part this is an excellent volume of stories, the very good far outweighing the slightly bad. The works written from the perspective of a child are especially brilliant. O'Connor's prose is always precise and, while no Chekhov or Carver, it's easy to see why he is thought so well of in regards short story writing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking piece of literature 10 Jun 2013
By RPGard
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very Irish but really gets under the skin of the personalities depicted. Not an easy read in places if you are English. Each short story is worthwhile in its own right but the collection has been carefully selected.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering the short story 27 Feb 2013
By DannyMc
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Frank O'Connor was on my syllabus at some stage in school. I had the faintest memory of very amusing childhood tales and on a friend's recommendation revisited the stories. My memories sold the quality of these amazing stories very short. At times very funny, at times poignant and at times extremely moving. This is Ireland in the first half of the 20th Century, poverty, faith, war, civil war, love and just about everything else that might matter. I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you think you don't like short stories - as I did - try this.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars irish chiildhood 21 July 2013
By peepee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
through the eyes of a young irish boy and his relationships with the world and himself and coming to terms with famly
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