O’Connor’s first collection of humour and non-fiction became an Irish number one bestseller and has been reprinted many times. One Amazon reviewer remarks: ‘The Secret World of the Irish Male should be seen for what it is: a loosely-related collection of O'Connor's newspaper columns on contemporary Irish life.
While much of it tends towards the lightweight (and doesn't pretend to be otherwise) there are also moments of perception and insight such as his encounter with a young Irish migrant at a railway station in London (and the implied reality of much of the migrant experience) and his flirtation with the world of boxing. There are, however, many more moments of high comedy from the school of flirting in New York to the riotous, rambunctious World Cup diary (worth the price of admission alone). It should be understood (some reviewers seem to find it difficult) that this is a collection of laughs and tears in between O'Connor's more serious (but not always less humorous) endeavours and is such is recommended as a highly entertaining, intelligent read.’