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The Best of Myles: A Selection from 'Cruiskeen Lawn' Paperback – 6 Nov 1990

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin (6 Nov. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586089500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586089507
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Not to be missed.

Brilliant, morosely inventive comic turns devoted to O'Brien's favourite topics: the literary life, the Gaelic Revival, civil service bureaucracy, booze and its discontents.

This volume collects the best of [his newspaper] pieces. O'Brien leans on many Irish clichcs (poverty, boozing, etc.) but uses them often with great humor.

"The best comic writer I can think of."--S.J. Perelman

"The best comic writer I can think of."-S.J. Perelman

The best comic writer I can think of.--S.J. Perelman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Flann O’Brien was one of the many pseudonyms of Brian O’Nolan, author of the classic novel ‘At Swim-
Two-Birds’ and, under the name Myles na Gopaleen, writer of a celebrated satirical column in the Irish Times which appeared daily for almost thirty years. Highly praised by Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, amongst others, O’Brien is regarded as one of the great comic writers of the twentieth century. He died in 1966.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you`ve read any of Flann O`Brien`s five novels, then you`ll no doubt want to read these contributions he made, under the guise of Myles na gCopaleen ('Myles of the ponies' in his own preferred transliteration) for the Irish Times, in a daily column called Cruiskeen Lawn ('brimming jug') which was read, admired and, we are told, sometimes feared by the many who eagerly read it, and probably recognised themselves within it all too often.
Whether he is mercilessly hunting down and skewering cliche, equally relentlessly detailing the sadistic verbal monstrosities of 'Bores', telling us tall tales of 'Keats & Chapman' - with the sole purpose of leading up to a tortuous (but damn funny) pun by Keats - or giving voice to 'The Plain People of Ireland' in all their mundane glory, Myles gives gloriously great value, with the added virtues of being both marvellously erudite and, as Nicholson Baker puts it so aptly in one of the blurbs adorning this generous 400-page paperback, 'intoxicatingly funny'.
Lapsing into Latin without so much as a by yer leave, and even occasionally German, but sticking to his own fluently Irish brand of English for the most part, reading this collection of pieces is one of the purest literary pleasures I know of.
The nearest comparison I can make is with J.B. Morton, whose 'Beachcomber' column some decades ago had a similar love of the nonsensical, the offbeat, and the just plain daft. But you quickly get the impression that Myles is more the intellectual, giving his readers not only a bloody good laugh, but something meaty to chew on at the same time.
Flann O`Brien didn`t merely have a `love of language`, though he obviously had that in abundance.
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Format: Paperback
Summary - inspired lunacy
Probably the most imaginative and funniest book I have ever read. Think of an early, but more eccentric, Miles Kington (is the name a coincidence?)
If you ever wanted to take an idea and see just how far it would go, this is for you. If pomposity and pretentiousness irritate the bejasus out of you, read it for ever. If you like Dublin and the Irish you will love them after this. (If you are Irish, you will already have read it or hang your head in shame.)
Marvel at the ingenious Heath Robinson inventions. Pity the poor pomposities he caricatures. Admire the inexorability of logic on speed. And all brought back to reality by the perspicacity of the Plain People of Ireland.
Be tickled every time you re-read it ( and re-read it you will).
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By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on 17 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Flann O'Brian is absolutely one of the greatest practitioners of language. This collection of his work, "The Best Of Myles", is some of the finest writing I have ever had the pleasure to read. Gaelic, English, French, German, and Latin, are 5 languages he writes fluently. He is the personification of all that is famous of Irish Wit. There appear to be few topics he did not comment upon or release a withering appraisal with pinpoint precision.

Mr. O'Brian wrote for a daily newspaper until his death in 1966. The volume and quality of the written material he produced is amazing. This 400-page book is one of five that are available and that I intend to read. There is virtually nothing about his personal history in this volume, so hopefully there is a biography in print documenting the time he spent learning and practicing his craft. The only downside to this book is that some is in Gaelic with no translation, and there are many articles that will seem to exist in isolation if the reader does not have some knowledge of Irish History. Even if these commentaries were removed, the balance of the work would still be a remarkable literary performance.

Some of the best pieces were his comments on the affectation in so many facets of daily life. And his specific attacks on, "bores", and all the pretensions of the world of modern art, and those who would pretend to possess knowledge of which they are bereft. He creates institutes and foundations and companies dedicated to servicing frauds and exposing the truth. Much is for pure fun, but like all humor contains truth.
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It's quite amazing to think how long ago all this stuff was written yet how very modern the style of humour is. I've laughed out loud on many an occasion at some of his flights of fancy and quote him often in various things. Being half-Irish myself, the wittiness of it and the acuity of observation of the character types is a delight to read, along with his brilliant inventions, like the ventriloquist escort service, intoxicating ink, and ........... I don't want to spoil it by listing any more.
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The writer uses a unique style that is difficult for some to understand and that is all his own. The brand of humour is probably impossible to emulate, This is not laugh a minute stuff and sometimes makes difficult reading reading. Selected stories here and there gave rise to mild chuckles but I had hoped for more entertainment.
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