Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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Tedium gussied up in phenomenal word-play
am 23. Dezember 1999
I feel bad hating At Swin-Two-Birds as much as I did after reading the above glowing reviews and after having heard so many great things about the book for so many years. I finally read it last month. In fact, I ordered it from Amazon. What a disappointment. I think I chuckled three times through the whole book and could barely manage finishing the tedious thing. I love Joyce, I love Beckett (I'm reading his great trilogy right now, in fact), but this Flann O'Brien leave me stone cold. I will admit, however, the language of Two-Birds is just phenomenal: a crazy grab-bag of the vigorous, aggressive, nasty, poetic, sly, mock, scurrilous. It's like language trying to devour itself. It's like language exploding with dazzling pyrotechnic force. Some of the scenes did take my breath away! I loved the scenes with the uncle. Those surrealistic, crazy-drunk scenes were also great. But I just couldn't handle those Irish myth scenes, maybe because I didn't quite "get" what all the parody was about. I do, by the way, have a sense of humor, which runs to the "Irish bleak." But this one? Hunh-huh. I think maybe if I heard it spoken (yelled, shouted) I might have gotten more out of it. It would be a treat to hear some of those scenes read by a great Irish ham. Anyway, as I said, I feel bad for not liking it. But, my God, what great language!