Myles Before Myles

By: Flann O’Brien

Publication Date: 2 April 2012

(2 customer reviews)


Myles Before Myles is a wonderfully funny selection of writings from the pen of Brian O’Nolan (aka Flann O’Brien, Myles na Gopaleen, George Knowall).

In this fun-filled extravaganza he is, above all, an entertainer, a ‘gas man’. Like much of O’Nolan’s most entertaining work, the pieces in this did not originally appear in book form, but in periodicals and newspapers that are now almost impossible to find. This collection reveals that some of his wittiest and most unusual were published years before Myles na Gopaleen (or Flann O’Brien) had even been born, and were destined to lie in almost complete obscurity for many decades.

FLANN O’BRIEN is a cult hero whose comic genius has been praised by anyone who is anyone – from James Joyce to Graham Greene, Dylan Thomas to Anthony Burgess, Bendan Behan to S.J.Perelman. Old addicts (lucky enough to have discovered Flann in previous hilarious guises) will rejoice at the rediscovery of lost laughter and new readers will revel in one of the funniest writers in any language. Here is a feast for them all: a book full of the joys of the man himself as student, as blatherer, as romancer, as Irishman, as poet – as Myles! With an intelligent and amusing introduction from the compiler, John Wyse Jackson, this extraordinary collection (which has been out of print for some twenty years) is a brilliant addition to the O’Brien canon. Its reappearance has been well worth waiting for.


Flann O’Brien (aka Myles na gCopaleen, Brian O’Nolan), Irish civil servant and toper, was a novelist, journalist, critic, playwright, and comic writer of genius. He died on April Fool’s Day, 1966, aged fifty-five. He is a cult hero whose comic genius has been praised by anyone who is anyone – from James Joyce to Graham Greene, Dylan Thomas to Anthony Burgess, Brendan Behan to S.J.Perelman.

‘O’Brien took the Irish mythology he had been taught and undermined it with funny, sarcastic remarks. It’s the most complex novel – it’s comic and crazy but it all makes a kind of sense. It speaks to my heart and messes with my head.’ – Brendan Gleeson on At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien, The Guardian

Also available as an ebook

2 reviews for Myles Before Myles

  1. Lilliput Press

    “Obviously you are a Myles aficionado or you would not be looking at this title. In which case you will understand the importance historically of this addition to what is available by yer man. Yes, there are in these pages some wildly funny writings and even exchanges between Myles and himself in various guises. As one might imagine, in some of the earliest pieces the young Myles had not found his voice nor rhythm yet. But it is also very interesting and worthwhile to read this early stuff and the works that show the birth of the writer who developed into one of the world’s most amusing and acerbic personalities. I, of course, would buy anything by or about the man.” PETER C PARSONS

  2. Lilliput Press

    “This book provides an entertaining insight into the comic genius that was Brian O’Nolan. Myles na cGopaleen was one of many of his pseudonyms for when he wrote a column for the Irish Times. He also wrote many novels as Flann O’Brien including The Third Policeman which is a truly spellbinding work. Myles Before Myles recounts many of his earlier works.” PETE RANDALL

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 135 × 215 mm
Publication Date

2 April 2012


Paperback, 288pp

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