Read The Informer by Liam O'Flaherty Online


Set in 1920's Ireland The Informer is an enthralling revolutionary drama of the Dublin underworld and inspired the classic John Ford film. In the ominous figure of Gypo, an ex-policeman, who takes blood money for betraying his friend and comrade, O'Flaherty has created a force from whom no-one is safe.The Informer is a story in which terror and treachery reign supreme as OSet in 1920's Ireland The Informer is an enthralling revolutionary drama of the Dublin underworld and inspired the classic John Ford film. In the ominous figure of Gypo, an ex-policeman, who takes blood money for betraying his friend and comrade, O'Flaherty has created a force from whom no-one is safe.The Informer is a story in which terror and treachery reign supreme as O'Flaherty unfolds his urban masterpiece.Liam O'Flaherty was born on the Aran Islands in 1896. His work includes the novels Famine, Thy Neighbour's Wife, The Assassin, and several acclaimed short story collections....

Title : The Informer
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780863279386
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 217 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Informer Reviews

  • Tony
    2019-02-20 04:25

    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 one of the British policemen; shot him dead. The police learned that Frankie was the man responsible and began a man-hunt for him. They also put a reward out for his capture – dead or alive. One night, both Frankie and Gypo and Frankie were drinking in a pub in Dublin, when Frankie decided to sneak off and visit his family. Gypo warned him that this was not a good move since the police were likely watching the parents’ house. Frankie went anyway. Gypo continued to drink and reached a point of drunkenness that blurred his thinking. He was tired of never having any money to buy drinks or to treat his friends, so he took action. He went in to the police station and told them that Frankie was headed to his family home. When the police surrounded the house, there was a shoot-out and Frankie was killed. Gypo collected his reward. He hadn’t expected the events that occurred, but he was already committed. Still drunk, he went on a spending spree; throwing his money around in an obvious fashion that immediately aroused the suspicions of the other members of his revolutionary group. Needless to say, Gypo was not the brightest bulb in the chandelier and was soon accused by the leaders of the group. Although this is a fairly straight-forward story, the author makes it a timeless one by examining the whole concept of the use of violence in obtaining the desired ends for a political movement. He also gives us an excellent view of the Irish people at the time, in addition to letting us into the mind of a man like Gypo, a man who was essentially one of God’s innocents in that he was not able to reason the same way his comrades could. O’Flaherty’s descriptive powers are awesome. He was able to describe his characters and their environment in such a way that you actually felt that you were at the scene at all times. This is a marvelous book. Highly recommended.

  • John Mccullough
    2019-02-17 10:41

    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 emotional effort it takes to read. it has to be one of the great novels of Irish, and English, literature. After reading some of the reviews it is possible that you have to be Irish to understand the book; others seem to think it unreal. It was, and is, real! Ge used to it!

  • Padraic
    2019-02-28 05:28

    My favorite character name in all literature: Gypo.We Irish do not like to forgive. It is our constant undoing.

  • Jay
    2019-03-06 06:37

    Was reminded by a NYT article in today's paper on the newest Irish prime minister that I had read this book long ago. This story is a modern tragedy - the seeming futility of Frankie McPhillp's proto-IRA terrorism against the British occupiers and the ignorance and poverty of Gypo Nolan's sad, tag-along fealty to Frankie's cause that leads him to a Judas-like betrayal of his friend that costs Frankie his life. This is a really taught, spare narrative, with great character development (at least of Gypo). Even though you know the outcome from the get-go, the manner in which it unfolds, and the ultimate judgment passed on Gypo for his treason, the story grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. As someone whose ancestors (Limerick - Kerry) were crushed and nearly exterminated by Oliver Cromwell and his successors, this book plucked a deep chord and, at least for me, shed a great deal of light on why a Catholic nation like the Republic has a real issue to this day with forgiveness. Four stars because it depressed the sh*t out of me. One final observation, the Gypo and Frankie team remind me of another tragic duo, George and Lennie of "Of Mice and Men". I know the comparison is strained and superficial, but it did kind of jump out.

  • Mike
    2019-03-19 06:33

    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) storyof temptation, loyalty, betrayal and redemption set in 1920's post -CivilWar 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.

  • Noah
    2019-02-25 04:35

    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.

  • Matt
    2019-03-01 02:37

    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
    2019-03-18 05:27


  • Bob Newman
    2019-03-12 03:40

    Fenian Hulk Finks on Friend, Fatally Fails to FleeIn the confused political situation in Ireland between 1916 and 1925, all kinds of ideologies competed, common criminals took up party work only to revert to their original callings. Leaders were betrayed, assassinated, jailed. The long dream of independence came to life, but in a fog of disappointment and disillusion. When the dust settled, all the brilliant men lay dead. O'Flaherty has set his novel in the politico-criminal underworld of this period, with a large dollop of that disillusion. Nobody comes out smelling like a rose. Gypo Nolan, the main character, harbors great physical strength, but little brain. Unlike most protagonists, he thinks little. The author describes his feelings or changes of mood, an interesting tack to take. Gypo informs on a former colleague in the Party, who is promptly surrounded by the police and gets shot dead during the standoff. With his 20 pound reward burning a hole in his pocket ( it might have been equivalent to about 20 weeks pay for a worker), Gypo treats a crowd to fish and chips, then drinks, fights, and whores, giving a big part of his loot away to a sad woman he meets by chance. The Party suspects Gypo, who fingers an innocent man. At the subsequent "trial", the truth comes out. Gypo is locked up, but escapes. The denouement is not long in coming.THE INFORMER is fast paced, highly descriptive. I felt that sometimes the urge to describe everyone and everything in detail got the better of the author, his descriptive style began to resemble a Thomas Hart Benton mural, with each individual a caricature of a `type' or a `stock character'. The "firm jaws", the "mouths belonging to an average Irishwoman of the middle class", "he looked like a waiter thrown out of employment through old age".....very graphic, colorful, but somehow cartoonish. Anyway, little gripes aside, this is a novel that will hold your attention. It hangs together very well, connecting Irish history and society with a film-noir atmosphere of suspense, action, and intrigue. It catches the Dublin and the Ireland of the time, now changed out of all recognition by prosperity and respectability. And more luck to Ireland for that.

  • Frank
    2019-03-18 08:51

    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 with Britain and those opposing it has just ended. Those men and women who just a few years prior stood side-by-side as comrades-in-arms fighting the British have turned on each other, and even though open hostilities have ended (badly for the Anti-Treaty side), random acts of violence still occur. The "Organisation" (the Anti-Treaty IRA) have gone to ground.Gypo Nolan, the eponymous "Informer", reminds me of Lenny in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men; as depicted by O'Flaherty, he's little more than a simpleton, all brawn and passion, unrestrained by logic or even feeling. He has a maudlin sentiment, true, but any real feelings have been purged by the hardships of life. Approached by his former partner, himself on the run, Gypo hardly hesitates a moment to sell the information of his whereabouts to the Free State police, the nascent Garda Síochána, for £20 (easily five-month's wages for a working man in today's terms). He's equally quick to betray a totally innocent man in an ill-advised effort to save himself.When the Organisation hears of the treachery, they immediately spring to action. If Gypo is all brawn, his opposite number, the Commandant Dan Gallagher, is all brain. Gallagher is similarly bereft of any sentimentality: all is for the preservation of the Organisation, and the Organisation is strictly a tool for the creation of an Irish workers' republic.Despite the faults of the antagonists, O'Flaherty is remarkably non-judgmental. He portrays the poor workers of Dublin's slums with passive equanimity: the prostitutes and pimps, consumptives and drunkards, con-men and revolutionaries, addicts and usurers are all presented with a casual aplomb that stands in marked contrast to the general perception we have of lace-curtain Irish "propriety".I'd like to think that the dialog, which is heavily weighted towards phonetic renditions of accent, is genuine, though at this remove (nearly 90-years since it was written) it has a certain "stage Irish" quality. I guess there's no way to know.Though melodramatic, the novel is also very cinematic. It's easy to see why it made such a memorable film (though John Ford did diddle a bit with the plot to make it more palatable to American sensibilities); if anything, it's a wonder that it has never been remade since 1935.

  • Gabriel C.
    2019-02-17 07:41

    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 sort of placement of a book in the context of other books. That's not bad, but I want to say more than that. I feel like this basically doesn't make any sense. It starts somewhere and meanders forward, but it feels like it's being made up catch as catch can---and it's like, for tension's sake you need to have this guy be more important, more badass, so he is, but then it doesn't make sense in the same way that he's down on his luck? I don't know. A headcracker like that should be dead or in jail or I don't know.

  • Esteban
    2019-03-03 02:27

    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 sounds as an essay, but it never becomes heavy. I think he often adds too much descriptions but not to the point of making them unbearable. I can relate this novel to the film Works of Mike Leigh or Ken Loach, although its style is "softer" than them. I can also see some naturalistic features on the plot (I can think of Zola and The Mysteries of Marseille) but also, by the way some characters drift away it is not completely fit to that tag. From the very beginning the author leads you to the main and sole purpose of the plot and you know what will happen throughout the story, but still is very exciting. I would like to relate this with the Judas Iscariot figure, however I can't, Gypo, it's a unique ítem, so primal so contradictory.Memorable characters like Gypo, Mrs. McPhillip, Katie Fox, Connemara Maggie, it's worth the read, even several times. I enjoyed it very much.

  • Evíí
    2019-03-06 06:41

    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 only will happen. In that is the author’s power to grab readers’ attention because they are kept in constant tension and suspense.I was amused by Gypo when he searched his conscience and spent those blood money for example to help that girl in whorehouse who actually wasn't a prostitute or when he bought the food for many poeple in buffet.Another point which grabed me was just at the end when Gypo plead for Mrs. McPhillip's forgiveness. It showed that Gypo felt really sorry about what he did.I was forced to think more deeply many times during the reading. It wasn't difficult. Difficult was to stop reading and just to think for a while.

  • fcrazeg
    2019-02-28 05:50

    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, mostrándonos una maraña de sucesos donde los personajes logren entregar todo su potencial.Por medio del escenario y desde el punto donde el autor la abarca, la guerra civil irlandesa en 1922, me permitió conocer los comportamientos de un grupo social importante para el desarrollo de un suceso histórico. Principalmente fueron interesantes dos puntos: lo primario que pueden ser los comportamientos de un hombre y, esa 'miseria humana', como medianamente la plantea Dovstoievsky, pues no es desde la sociedad en general sino de ese grupo social.

  • R.W. Kennedy
    2019-03-20 03:37

    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 author mentioned. It's not a book who's power will knock you on your tuckus, but it does justice to what it must have been like to live in Ireland during this time and he gives us a good plot to keep us turning this thin volume. It's a hard book to abandon because you will be nagged by the question of: whatever happened to big ol Gypo Nolan?

  • El
    2019-02-26 10:51

    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 ending will remain the same. In any case, I've been sort of neglectful of Irish authors as many of them have disappointed me - most recently Donleavy's The Ginger Man. Surely they're not all so craptastic.

  • Aziel Torres
    2019-02-21 07:28

    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 NASBMy 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 cover a multitude of sins.

  • Bob
    2019-03-13 05:36

    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
    2019-03-20 02:48

    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.

  • Tommy
    2019-03-18 05:51

    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.

  • CAG_1337
    2019-03-08 05:36

    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
    2019-03-08 03:27

    60/100I'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.

  • Atram_sinprisa
    2019-02-25 10:30

    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.

  • Drew
    2019-03-13 10:28

    The Informer by Liam O'Flaherty (1961)

  • Helen
    2019-03-15 09:35

    Great psychological story of a man on the run during the Irish Civil War.

  • Alyson Bowers
    2019-03-04 05:41

    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

  • Lyzzie
    2019-03-15 08:33

    Un anti-héro un peu fou voire schizophrène. Le livre se lit assez vite, pas de longueurs.

  • Sean
    2019-02-28 08:40

    Just don't remember that well will have to reread

  • Paul Jellinek
    2019-03-18 04:39

    A low-down, gritty story from the days of the Irish "Troubles." Good stuff.

  • TimsBookCollection
    2019-02-18 02:46

    Irish Independent Great Irish Writers Series