Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Informer” as Want to Read:
The Informer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Informer

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  305 Ratings  ·  32 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Informer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Informer

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 03, 2013 Tony rated it it was amazing
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
John Mccullough
Dec 01, 2013 John Mccullough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 28, 2008 Padraic rated it it was amazing
My favorite character name in all literature: Gypo.

We Irish do not like to forgive. It is our constant undoing.
Aug 06, 2011 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 17, 2016 wawbax rated it did not like it
A procession of events dragged down by themselves. The Informer ultimately fails due to the weight it fails to convey, the tension it ultimately cannot produce. Beautiful passages are wasted by unnatural characters; multifaceted motivation and political ambiguity are possessed not by humans, but by the shades of their actions, dooming this novel to the cardboard-depth of these characters.

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.
Robert Fay
Jul 07, 2011 Robert Fay rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2010 Frank rated it liked it
Shelves: irish-authors
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
Gabriel C.
Dec 25, 2012 Gabriel C. rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
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
Jul 26, 2015 Esteban rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turbulent, sad, paranoid, the tensión is always in crescendo. The narrator can focus whether the action or the psychological state of the characters and it all adds up to the plot, making it very entertaining. It takes you back to those pre-Republican days of Ireland,everything in this story is gloomy, harsh, there is an air of hopelessness and almost all the characters share despair.

I liked how the autor uses some of the characters to make political and philosophical reflections that sometimes
Nov 09, 2011 Evíí rated it really liked it
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
No sé que pasa conmigo pero con los últimos libros leídos he quedado con un sinsabor. Creo que la introducción de la historia ha hecho volar mi imaginación y esperaba encontrar un nudo más robusto, lleno no sucesos donde los personajes logren desarrollarse completamente.
El Delator tiene una narrativa que lograr llegar al lector, la historia está bien construida, al igual que los personajes que además, tienen mucha fuerza. Sin embargo creo que al autor pudo desarrollar más la historia, mostrándon
R.W. Kennedy
May 03, 2015 R.W. Kennedy rated it really liked it
Reminiscent of the "The Power and the Glory"(Greene), this book follows a morally questionable character, Gypo Nolan, as he struggles to survive many toils and snares after snitching on his colleague in the Revolutionary Organization to the British Police. O'Flaherty has an enviable writing style. He'll hit you with that (to use two Irish Americans) O'Hara minimalism, throw a body feint, then hit you with a (F. Scott) Fitzgerald flourish, though these flourishes cannot compare to those of the au ...more
Jan 15, 2009 El rated it liked it
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
Aziel Torres
Nov 23, 2013 Aziel Torres rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 18, 2009 Bob rated it really liked it
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.
Nicholas Beck
May 19, 2014 Nicholas Beck rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: penguin
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.
Nov 29, 2010 Tommy rated it liked it
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.
May 09, 2016 CAG_1337 rated it really liked it
I am more familiar with Liam O'Flaherty's work as a short-story writer than with his novels. At points the writing and dialogue were a bit far-fetched (e.g., any of the long monologues of Dan Gallagher), a few parts veered towards melodrama, and the ending was (as another reviewer put it) a tad corny. Still, "The Informer" was a solid book...more like a 3.5 than a 4.
Ren Norman
Feb 18, 2014 Ren Norman rated it liked it

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.
Sep 06, 2014 Atram_sinprisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
The Informer by Liam O'Flaherty (1961)
Sep 16, 2007 Helen added it
Great psychological story of a man on the run during the Irish Civil War.
Alyson Bowers
Feb 24, 2008 Alyson Bowers rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-lit
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.
Just don't remember that well will have to reread
Paul Jellinek
Mar 01, 2015 Paul Jellinek rated it it was amazing
A low-down, gritty story from the days of the Irish "Troubles." Good stuff.
Aug 14, 2016 TimsBookCollection marked it as book-collection  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z19
Irish Independent Great Irish Writers Series
Aug 24, 2012 Matthew rated it liked it
Irish classic.
Mark Connolly
Mark Connolly rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mother Ireland: A Memoir
  • Wherever Green is Worn: The Story of the Irish Diaspora
  • Bobby Sands: Writings from Prison
  • Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul
  • The Oxford History of Ireland
  • The Year of the French
  • Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
  • Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life
  • A Drink With Shane MacGowan
  • The Pornographer
  • The Aran Islands
  • Nothing But an Unfinished Song: Bobby Sands, the Irish Hunger Striker Who Ignited a Generation
  • Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad
  • How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads
  • Confessions of an Irish Rebel
  • A Secret History of the IRA: Gerry Adams and the Thirty Year War
  • Ireland: A Terrible Beauty
  • Bandit Country: The IRA & South Armagh
Liam O'Flaherty was a significant Irish novelist and short story writer and a major figure in the Irish literary renaissance. He was involved for a time in left-wing politics, as was his brother Tom Maidhc O'Flaherty (also a writer), and their father, Maidhc Ó Flaithearta, before them.
More about Liam O'Flaherty...

Share This Book