Brendan Behan

Brendan Behan was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers of all time. Known for his sharp wit and boisterous personality, Behan's works often reflect his political beliefs and experiences, particularly his time as a member of the Irish Republican Army.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Borstal Boy

    "Borstal Boy" is a semi-autobiographical novel that depicts the author's experiences in a British juvenile detention center, or borstal, during World War II. The young protagonist is arrested in Liverpool for his involvement with the Irish Republican Army and is sent to borstal where he spends his formative years. The narrative explores themes of patriotism, identity, and the complexities of adolescence, presenting a raw and compelling portrayal of life in detention and the relationships formed there.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Hostage

    "The Hostage" is a play set in a Dublin lodging house, where a young British soldier is held captive by Irish nationalists as a bargaining tool to prevent the execution of an Irish prisoner in Belfast. The narrative unfolds in a chaotic and comedic manner, reflecting the absurdity of political conflicts and the human condition. Throughout the play, the interactions among the diverse group of characters, including the house residents and the hostage, reveal deeper themes of humanity, compassion, and the futility of violence, culminating in a tragic yet poignant climax that questions the true cost of ideological warfare.

    The 9891st Greatest Book of All Time