lots of laughs, some interesting thoughts on the nature of life, death, and eternity. plus, the ending is absolutely flawless. i wouldn't say flann o'brien is of the same caliber as samuel beckett, but he certainly appeals to a similar reader. definitely worth picking up a copy.
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Samsara, January 21, 2009 (view all comments by Samsara)
At first this book didn't seem to have much of a cohesive plot, but by the time it got to the bicycle love scene, everything began to come together. Genius.
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One of the funniest books I have ever read, but also one of the most profoundly unsettling. This is a story told by a robber/murderer who ends up at a police station and discusses such vital issues as the location of eternity, the earth's sausage shape, houses full of strawberry jam, and bicycles (of the utmost importance). The narrator's utter confusion becomes our own, leading to some of the most hilarious dialogue ever put to paper though by the end of the book you might just be laughing to keep from crying.
The Third Policeman is Flann O'Brien's comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botched robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where, through the theories of the scientist/philosopher de Selby, he is introduced to "Atomic Theory" and its relation to bicycles, the existence of eternity (which turns out to be just down the road), and de Selby's view that the earth is not round but "sausage-shaped." With the help of his newly found soul named "Joe, " he grapples with the riddles and contradictions that three eccentric policeman present to him.
With the publication of The Third Policeman, Dalkey Archive Press now has all of O'Brien's fiction back in print.
A most sardonic novel about life after death with the dead man telling the comic and terrifying story . . . a strange, original comic genius.
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