Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Picador Books – Part 10 – Flann O’Brien, Marcel Pagnol, John Cowper Powys & David Profumo

Myles na gCopaleen aka Flann O’Brien aka Brian O’Nolan needs no introduction, being the well known writer of satiric novels The Third Policeman and At Swim Two Birds. I have a pretty good collection of his books, becoming highly enamoured of The Third Policeman back in the 1960s, but they are all in diverse editions. Picador published his The Poor Mouth and The Best of Myles in the 1970s along with the aforementioned books. The cover art is by Ralph Steadman.

obrien_poormouth obrien_bestofmyles

Marcel Pagnol was a French novelist whose books, collectively called The Water of the Hills, became popular in the English speaking parts of the world in the 1980s after they were adapted to film. Below are the Picador edition of the books Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources in one volume.


The Picador edition of A Glastonbury Romance was my first introduction to the novels of John Cowper Powys. Even though it is over thirty years since I have read it, images from the book still resonate in my head – a jug stuffed with bluebells, a drowned girl, an iron bar…. It’s a hefty tome, too big to carry around commuting, but I look forward to rereading it when I retire from work.


I can’t say I remember much about the rest of his books I have in Picador editions, but here they are anyway, and they are all large books.

powys_brazenhead powys_fasion
powys_glendower powys_maidencastle

David Profumo is the son of the infamous former British government minister John Profumo of The Profumo Affair. David Profumo wrote a book about that scandal titled Bringing The House Down, but he did write two novels, one of which is The Weather In Iceland that I recall rather enjoying when I first read it.


More Picadors to follow – Damon Runyon, Salmon Rushdie and others.

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