Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Poor Mouth: Poor Mouth: A Bad Story about the Hard Life (Irish Literature) Paperback – March 1, 1996
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
O'Brien's wicked satire on the life of Irish peasant Bonaparte O'Coonassa was published in Gaelic in 1941 and translated into English in 1964. This edition contains illustrations by Ralph Steadman. A good companion to the MacNamara novel reviewed above.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
O'Brien was one of the comic geniuses of the 20th century... The Poor Mouth is wildly funny and Steadman's drawings catch the spirit.(Boston Globe)
A real writer, with the true comic spirit.(James Joyce)
The Poor Mouth sent me into fits of giddiness.(James Finn Garner, author of Politically Correct Bedtime Stories)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The outside world, in the form of city people whose first language is English, is just trouble. It might take the form of 'friends' of the Gaelic language who descend on them with puzzling and degrading demands, or of brutal schoolmasters with no Gaelic and no patience, or the law, which can pluck someone away and lock him up for years without justification, or even explanation.
And always, there are the rain and the potatoes.
The book has some funny scenes, I suppose, although the humor would be called black if the whole atmosphere were not so gray. From my distance and ignorance I can imagine that the effect of this book, once it was translated, was to embarrass all of Ireland about its Gaeltacht. The misery of the people seems unrelieved, and their reason for being but to preserve the Gaelic heritage in a kind of cultural zoo. I don't know the current status of that area, nor the effect the book had, but I am curious.
The book takes place in an area not far from the Yeats country. In the Mythologies and the fairy tale collection, the peasantry seem not so bad off as here. I think I prefer Yeats.
Also read The Third Policeman which will appeal if you have any sense of the absurd, and look out for his anthology of columns written for the Irish Times under the name of Miles Nagopoleen(Spelling?). O'Brian deserves cult status because of his enviable use of language and nuace without being worthy.
Buy 2 copies and give one to a friend.
The concept here is much like a Buster Keaton film, in that the protagonist is presumably ignorant, but he keeps a sharp eye on events, and he's basically good-hearted (except when he has to resort to stealing a pig or a chicken or some silverware, just to stay alive).