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The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
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The Third Policeman (original 1967; edition 2002)

by Flann O'Brien

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2,996841,905 (4.03)189
Member:adamrumbold
Title:The Third Policeman
Authors:Flann O'Brien
Info:Dalkey Archive Pr (2002), Edition: Second printing, Paperback, 200 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (1967)

Recently added byNIckBryant1, johnparkerroyal, private library, HeleneE, _dafne_, knotbox
Legacy LibrariesGraham Greene, Anthony Burgess
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English (80)  Spanish (1)  Greek (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Hard to review and difficult to rate.
Interesting "wild" ride ... inventive and funny in places.
Have a feeling I'm missing some nuances ( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
There's profundity behind the slapstick and poetry bursting through– maybe forming part of– O'Brien's baffling world. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Apr 28, 2016 |
Bizarrely good. An aura of strangeness tinged the first few pages, and then it intensified, and then there was a surreal tumble down the rabbit hole into a very curious world. A place where "...the trees were active where they stood." You need to "use your internal imagination".
Descriptions and events and expounded philosophies sort of made a weak and tenuous sense. The edge of sense. Until you realise it was making no sense at all and you were lost again. But then another promising thread of logic is offered and eagerly grasped. It only takes you deeper.

Some of the incidental descriptions of the land, the surroundings, were beautiful. "The dawn was contagious, spreading rapidly about the heavens. Birds were stirring and the great kingly trees were being pleasingly interfered with by the first breezes."
"The road...ran away westwards in the mist of the early morning, running cunningly through the little hills and going to some trouble to visit tiny towns which were not, strictly speaking, on its way."
Time and space are interchangeable. "... he led the way heavily into the middle of the morning." This is not logical, yet it makes sense.
Inanimate things don't become animated but they do assume a different essence, all explainable by the Atomic Theory. Which again made a weird sort of illogical sense.
"...you would know how certain the sureness of certainty is"

A delightful, bendy-mind kind of book that will take your brain out for a run, and then won't return it to the same spot.
( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
From bizarre fantasy to sheer nonsense indeed...I really enjoyed the first part of the book, and the end, but the middle section was quite bewildering. I enjoyed the nonsense, but wonder if I wasn't quite in on the joke. I do like the idea that the world isn't spherical, but is in fact shaped like a sausage though! ( )
  ellohull | Feb 10, 2016 |
A weird book. I didn't get anything from it. Pages and pages of rambling nonsense. If you're not looking to gain something from each book you read, and a book's task is just to help you pass the time, then go ahead. ( )
  jculkin | Feb 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
O'Brien, Flannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hedlund, MagnusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."
~ de Selby
"Since the affairs of men rest still uncertain,/ Let's reason with the worst that may befall."
~ Shakespeare
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Not everybody knows how I killed old Phillip Mathers, smashing his jaw in with my spade;
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 156478214X, Paperback)

A comic trip through hell in Ireland, as told by a murderer, The Third Policeman is another inspired bit of confusing and comic lunacy from the warped imagination and lovably demented pen of Flann O'Brien, author of At Swim-Two-Birds. There's even a small chance you'll figure out what's going on if you read the publisher's note that appears on the last page.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:26 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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 writings 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 discovered soul, named "Joe," he grapples with the riddles and contradictions that three eccentric policemen present to him.--From publisher's description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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