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The Informer

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A tale of temptation, betrayal, and reprisal, this powerful novel is set in the aftermath of the Irish Civil War. It tells of Gypo Nolan, who informs on a wanted comrade. The source of the Academy Award-winning film directed by John Ford. Preface by Denis Donoghue.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 17th 1980 by Mariner Books (first published 1925)
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My favorite character name in all literature: Gypo.

We Irish do not like to forgive. It is our constant undoing.
THE INFORMER. (1925). Liam O’Flaherty. *****.
This is a classic novel from this famed Irish writer that is still vital in today’s world. It is the story of a man, Gypo Nolan, who informs on one of his colleagues, Frankie McPhillip. Frankie and Gypo were ‘enforcers’ for the revolutionary forces in Ireland during the early part of the century. Their group opposed the rule of Ireland by the English, and participated in acts of violence to disrupt that rule. When off in the mountains, Frankie killed
Read this as high school required --- given it was a school full of Irish-Catholic descendants it made sense. A sad and haunting (to me) story

of temptation, loyalty, betrayal and redemption set in 1920's post -Civil

War Dublin. An enduring lamentation of The Troubles. "Gypo" Nolan,

ex-policeman, rebel, judas is one of the truly tragic characters in

literature. An important book for me. Finds itself in my rotation of re-reads.
O'Flaherty has a curious "voice" as narrator, but a unique and consistent one. (Last year I read a collection of his short stories printed in the '50s, though I have no idea when they were written.) The style is somewhat stilted to my modern ears, but that may be a result of the time and place. Be that as it may, he certainly captured that time and place, or rather gave it an authenticity and immediacy. The setting is Dublin, c.1923. The Irish Civil War between the forces in favour of the Treaty ...more
This is the story about betraying in the relationship and its consequences. But eventually, truth wins. The most visible think in this story is how much fragile can the relationship only be as for money. All the story seems like really dark, gloomy and melancholic. The thoughts of characters are described in detail so one may say that it is one half of a book which describes characters’ thoughts. The gratest part of it presents Gypo’s thinking due to such a nervousness and constant stress what o ...more
Gabriel C.
Dark, squalid, as promised by the man from Book Zoo, but way too florid, and essentially irreal. I buy that this is some sort of precursor to Hammett (I mean Red Harvest) with some of the love of grime of say, Céline. But I'm drawing connections in two directions both of which are at least pretending to be naturalistic. This either isn't pretending or does a poor job of it. You know, I think after all it reminds me more of Miss Lonelyhearts.

I feel like too many of my reviews these days are some
Nicholas Beck
Hack writing at it's finest this early pulp fiction written in 1925 was obviously popular as my Penguin edition of 1936 was the 6th reprint. I cannot see any reason why Penguin should have chosen to have this under their imprint other than it's popularity which would have affected their financial bottom line. Overblown, florid writing par excellence most of this novel made frankly no sense whatsoever. Cod philosophy results in a load of codswallop.
John Mccullough
I don't know when Irish literature took a somber, negative,depressing turn, but The Infomer is a classic of that genre. Brilliantly written, the story of big, clumsy. Gypo Nolan who "informs" on his best childhood and adult pal and the consequences of this horrible act of betrayal. That's all I can say without giving up the story. By the way, I believe that "Gypo" is short for Gypsy, or a disreputable person, so probably pronounced like "Jippo." It s a short read and well worth the small but emo ...more
Renegade Norman

I'm sure this is a fine book and all, but I could not, for the life of me, stand the needless exposition upon exposition upon exposition. I honestly feel that O'Flaherty could have told the same story, but shorter while still leaving in the important details.
Novela brillante. El uso de los diálogos tan "coloquial" (más bien paleto) cruje en las primeras páginas al ser escrito, característica que no resulta tan extraña en el lenguaje hablado. Pero el final es absolutamente perfecto, con esa escena final redonda.
Gypo Nolan is the informer of the title. Following the Irish Civil War, Gypo betrays his friend Frankie and turns him in to the police for a murder Frankie committed. Gypo's life is then at risk and he must protect himself from his former comrades, all of whom are pretty teed of at what he did.

There's a John Ford-directed movie of this book that I'd be curious to see. The story was fine, but I have a feeling the movie (particularly directed by Ford) would be better. And I'm curious to see if the
Paul Jellinek
A low-down, gritty story from the days of the Irish "Troubles." Good stuff.
Aziel R. Torres
A simpleton led by impulse... I imagine it would have come about him by the poverty of the time... The end of this book is indeed a scene to make you cry... I enjoyed this book!

Forgiveness abd a loving mother... And grace bestowed... Enjoy it if you ever choose to read this book!

James 5:19-20 NASB
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, [20] let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will
A good companion to "The Conformist". Getting by in the real, practical, possibly dangerous world, versus ethical, moral choices, and the consequences of these choices. Rationalizing the short term ease of a compromise. Suffering more, because others fall victim to these choices. Others that never had the opportunity to choose for themselves. Just people in the wrong place and time. Gives the reader a good grasp of "the Irish problem", while making it a human problem of wider scope.
It was a slow build up and you did feel somewhat for the tragic character at the end. I think this would have been much more powerful in the environment where these things were happening and closer to the time when the events occurred. While I might not necessarily recommend it to everyone, it definitely interested me enough to want to see the academy award winning film based on the book.

Starting on this one for a Modern Irish Novel course. Funnily enough, a good friend of mine lent it to me out of the blue just before the semester started, saying merely that it read quickly and well. Next thing I know it's the lead off book for the course! Irish kismet, there it is.

Looking forward to it. Comments to follow.
Great view of the fascinating play between police and terror in Ireland
Alyson Bowers
While a not a well-known masterpiece, and somewhat of a corny ending, O'Flaherty has really interesting characters in this book and I really liked it
Un anti-héro un peu fou voire schizophrène. Le livre se lit assez vite, pas de longueurs.
Sep 16, 2007 Helen added it
Great psychological story of a man on the run during the Irish Civil War.
Just don't remember that well will have to reread
Un petit goût de Crime et châtiments!
The Informer by Liam O'Flaherty (1961)
William Schram
William Schram marked it as to-read
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