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3.5 

The Third Policeman

By Flann O'Brien
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

One man wants to publish, so another must perish, in this darkly witty philosophical novel by “a spectacularly gifted comic writer” (Newsweek).
 
The Third Policeman follows a narrator who is obsessed with the work of a scientist and philosopher named de Selby (who believes that Earth is not round but sausage-shaped)—and has finally completed what he believes is the definitive text on the subject. But, broke and desperate for money to get his scholarly masterpiece published, he winds up committing robbery—and murder.
 
From here, this remarkably imaginative dark comedy proceeds into a world of riddles, contradictions, and questions about the nature of eternity as our narrator meets some policemen with an obsession of their own (specifically, bicycles), and engages in an extended conversation with his dead victim—and his own soul, which he nicknames Joe.
 
By the celebrated Irish author praised by James Joyce as “a real writer, with the true comic spirit,” The Third Policeman is an incomparable work of fiction.
 
“’Tis the odd joke of modern Irish literature—of the three novelists in its holy trinity, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Flann O’Brien, the easiest and most accessible of the lot is O’Brien. . . . Flann O’Brien was too much his own man, Ireland’s man, to speak in any but his own tongue.” —The Washington Post
 

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61 Reviews

3.5
Rolling on the Floor Laughing Face“This book was a hoot! Don’t try to make sense of it- the point is that it doesn’t make sense most of the time. Don’t fight against it- let it take you to a weird place and look around while you’re there. It’s alice in wonderland in Ireland with bikes. Truly a one of a kind reading experience.”
Descriptive writingFunny writingTwistyUnpredictableComicalThought-provoking
“4.5, supreme pancake”

About Flann O'Brien

Flann O’Brien is a pseudonym for Brian O’Nolan (1911–1966), an Irish novelist, playwright, and satirist. Born in Strabane, County Tyrone, he is regarded as a key figure in postmodern literature. His English language novels, such as At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman, were written under the pen name Flann O’Brien. His many satirical columns in the Irish Times and an Irish language novel An Béal Bocht were written under the name Myles na gCopaleen. O’Nolan’s novels have attracted a wide following for their bizarre humor and modernist metafiction.
 

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