Classic of the week: Blurb heaven

At Swim-two-birds
Flann O’Brien, Penguin, £8.99
Try these for quotes on a book jacket: "That's a real writer with the true comic spirit" - James Joyce; "Just the book to give your sister, if she's a loud, dirty, boozy girl" - Dylan Thomas. Flann attracted them because this is a once-only collision of ageless comic blather -- he has a genius ear for dialogue -- and high modernist technique. Relatively realistic passages about a young lodger mix with pitch-perfect parodies of ancient Irish poetry and accounts of a novelist who lives with his characters, and is finding them ever less obedient. As difficult to explain as it is to forget.