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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential new addition to Flann O'Brien work
The previous writer's comments made me curious and I agree with him that this is a gem of a book. In all other collections of Flann O'Brien's columns written as Myles na gCopaleen there is a certain relentlesness about the selection. Here at last, with tongue in cheek by the editor (what an excellent introduction!), Myles himself is resurrected as a character who was...
Published on 30 Dec 2000

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a lot better.
This is a disappointing book. Much of the fault lies with the editor, John Wyse Jackson, who provides minimal annotation, so that material as replete with dated cultural lore as Ulysses is incomprehensible. He claims that 'Cruishkeen Lawn', the column written by Flann O'Brien as Myles na gCopaleen over 25 years, is in its entirity a work of art, a monstrous,...
Published on 20 July 2000


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential new addition to Flann O'Brien work, 30 Dec 2000
By A Customer
The previous writer's comments made me curious and I agree with him that this is a gem of a book. In all other collections of Flann O'Brien's columns written as Myles na gCopaleen there is a certain relentlesness about the selection. Here at last, with tongue in cheek by the editor (what an excellent introduction!), Myles himself is resurrected as a character who was invented by rather than used as a 'pseudonym' by Flann O'Brien. He was so succesful (and this collection brilliantly shows why) that Myles took over the writer's life, increasingly making it miserable. No Flann O'Brien fan should miss this book!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a lot better., 20 July 2000
By A Customer
This is a disappointing book. Much of the fault lies with the editor, John Wyse Jackson, who provides minimal annotation, so that material as replete with dated cultural lore as Ulysses is incomprehensible. He claims that 'Cruishkeen Lawn', the column written by Flann O'Brien as Myles na gCopaleen over 25 years, is in its entirity a work of art, a monstrous, uncontainable offshoot of the novel - to prove this we should be given a multi-volumed complete collection, not this emasculated rag-bag of 'highlights', which are mainly snippets of the original columns. Few of the non-English phrases are translated - the classical education common in the 1940s is no longer available now, he shouldn't take the reader's knowledge for granted. Jackson's editorial fancies (specious chapter divisions etc.) are also egocentrically intrusive. However, it must be admitted that Myles himself is not blameless. While Flann O'Brien's novels grow in richness and strangeness with the years, these colums have dated very badly. Many of the same obsessions (cliches, puns, hypocritical artists, drink, Myles' own misery/disgust etc.) are done to death, initially funny, but eventually monotonous and tortuous. Jackson's attempt to essay Myles as a fictional character is acceptable in so far as it goes, and a dark decline can be evinced, but the construct 'Myles' is too Protean a figure, too slippery in meaning and value to always correspond to the notion of character. Much of this, though, is still outrageously funny, especially in its casually, difficultly, playful use of language; funnier still, if we remember the Franco-like state of Ireland at the time, with Church and government creating a system of catch-all censorship and, hence, an arid culture of meek subservience. The blasts of invective here are bracing, and never fall into cosy liberal pieties - O'Brien's irony is too mercurial for that. Best of all are the anecdotes, redolent of dank, smoky, male-sodden pubs, yet unfailingly weird.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 July 2014
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It is a really excellent book and is very amusing
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