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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bolshy, Brash, Boisterous, Benevolent, Behan at his Best, 18 July 2001
This review is from: After The Wake (Classic Irish Fiction) (Paperback)
From the song's of Shane McGowan to the wall's of any Irish theme pub across the world, Behan is quite literally plastered into the Celtic myth, as a hell raising boozer who drank himself to death at the age of 41. Just as Dylan Thomas's litarary acheivements have been marred by the hell raising reputation he left behind him, Behan's work has to a large extent been summed up by 'quotes' and anecdotes of a baroomesque kind. In 'After the Wake', edited by Peter Fallon it's a rare treat to find some of Behan's fiction gathered together, short stories of an autobiographical nature, charting the politics and ritual of Irish life in the 30's and 40's. Behan's sharp wit, ear for dialogue and skill at putting down vernacular speech, as well as his masterey at blancing dramatic tension, all culminate in some short sharp masterpeices. In 'The Last of Mrs Murphy' we follow Behan on his fifth birthday being taken to 'Jimmy the Sports' for his first drink by an elderly neighbour. The way we're forced to wait in line at the snuff shop with Behan as the women in the queue natter, overhearing their dialogue, is Behan subtle and brash at his best. Or when the teenage Behan in "I Become a Borstal Boy', instigates a tribute to fellow terrorist inmates who have just been 'executed' in a neighbouring jail, only escaping the cosh because he's up in the magistrates court that day. Behan was all that Yeats or Joyce were not. While Yeats conjured visions of Cuchalainn and Joyce abhorred the Irish heroics, Behan lived it and wrote it with a skill averev born from experience.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars after the wake, 17 Oct 2009
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Mr. S. Carney (yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: After The Wake (Classic Irish Fiction) (Paperback)
Its many years since I read any of Brendan Behan's work, to me the late Brendan had complete mastery of the English language, Brendans work is a typical example of the rich - descriptive and humorous Irish language being transposed, through the medium of English. After the Wake is just one example, which I throughly enjoyed and only wished there was much more of it.
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After The Wake (Classic Irish Fiction)
After The Wake (Classic Irish Fiction) by Brendan Behan (Paperback - 1 May 1996)
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