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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books

The Dalkey Archive

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The Dalkey Archive

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Author: Flann O'Brien
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press, 2006
Original English publication, 1964
Macmillan UK, 1964

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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The book features a mad scientist, De Selby, who tries to destroy the world by removing all the oxygen from the air. He has also many strange inventions. He exploits the theory of relativity and invents a kind of time travelling machine, which he uses to age his whiskey, creating brews that have been aged for many decades in just a few hours.

Saint Augustine and James Joyce both have speaking parts in the novel. James Joyce, after forging his own obituary to escape being drafted to fight in the Second World War, was serving pints in a small pub. Saint Augustine, on the other hand, appeared in a magical underwater cave and held a conversation with De Selby. The mad scientist De Selby leads the two main characters, Hackett and Mick, to the cave, to witness this conversation.


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