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The Cornet-Player Who Betrayed Ireland

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  58 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
'Father,' I said, feeling I might as well get it over while I had him in a good humour, 'I had it all arranged to kill my grandmother.'

Praised as Ireland's Chekhov, Frank O'Connor was a modern master of the short story. From an amateur brass band divided by partisanship to English soldiers who befriend their Irish captors, and from a child's comic confession to the end of
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Paperback, Penguin Mini Modern Classics, 67 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Penguin Classics (first published 1981)
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David Hebblethwaite
This book is one of the Mini Modern Classics, a series of fifty novellas and mini-collections published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Penguin Modern Classics.

There are four stories in Frank O’Connor’s The Cornet-Player Who Betrayed Ireland, all of which, in their different ways, look at the effect of broader social forces on the lives of ordinary individuals. The cornet-player of the title story is Mick Twomey, the only supporter of William O’Brien in a brass band whose other members suppo
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Vittorio Ducoli
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ricordando Dubliners

I racconti di O'Connor contenuti in questo volume sono tipicamente irlandesi, nel senso che riecheggiano le vicende e le peculiarità della società dell'isola nel '900. La prosa piana e minimale, nonché il fatto che in molti casi i protagonisti siano bambini, accentuano il carattere quieto delle storie, ravvisabile anche laddove trattano argomenti scomodi od addirittura violenti. Singolarmente, o forse per precisa intenzione del curatore Guido Almansi - di cui consiglio di leg
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Ryan
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Half-way through, I would have been tempted to give this collection a lower rating. The final piece, however, is one of the best I've ever read about the estrangement and fall of a childhood friend. It's written so seamlessly well that you almost can't believe 20 years have passed in the 17 pages of the story.

The other works range from mediocre to good. O'Connor has the sort of down-to-earth Irish style that would would imagine a subdued James Joyce to have. He often writes from a child's perspe
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Mark J  Easton
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A stark series of stories telling of dark times, of unlikely and inadvisable friendships, of sinful children, and of sinful adults struggling to find their place in the world, this collection covers a variety of hard subjects but with enough humour and humanity to lift each story above tragedy, and elevate each into a fruitful mediation on life.
Christiane
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved the first three stories in this collection, they are very short, poignant (The Cornet Player…), sweet and funny (First Confession), shocking (Guests of the Nation) and quintessentially Irish.

The last one (A story by Maupassant) didn’t impress me all that much but I definitely want to read more works by this author.
Jessica
Oct 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Not the kind of stories for me generally. however, I respect them as classics and the ability to write a complete story in so few words is amazing. It was a fair purchase for $2. The title is what drew me to it as a musician.
Alix
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Fine, nothing too exciting. Not bad, but wouldn't read again.
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