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The Third Policeman Paperback – March 1, 2002
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. If ever a book was brought to life by a reading, it is this presentation of O'Brien's posthumously published classic. Norton individually crafts voices and personalities for each character in such a way that a listener might imagine an entire cast of voice talent working overtime. This is a comic/surreal tale of a one-legged gentleman farmer who participates in a poorly planned botched robbery-turned-murder, only to find himself having a long conversation with the dead man shortly after the deed. In addition he hears from his own soul, who he names Joe. Joe's voice is that of a wry observer with a voice of calm, removed authority, whereas dead man Mathers' voice is completely nasal, at once sickly and droll. Mathers sends the farmer to a two-dimensional barracks of three metaphysical policemen. Here he finds himself in a world where people can become bicycles and eternity is within walking distance. Norton's rendition of the main policeman, Sergeant Pluck, tips the reading into a full-out performance. The enormous blustery fellow with red cheeks and brushy mustache and eyebrows is portrayed like a jolly yet dangerous Disney walrus. Norton's Irish brogue, accentuated to different degrees with the various characters, ties the ribbon on a perfect presentation of this absurd and chilling masterpiece. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
For me, being a very slow reader, I found this unique writing style made for an even SLOWER read, but please if you're like me this is a book that you HAVE to FINISH to appreciate. The ending left me in awe.
I'll admit I only purchased this book b/c it was mentioned in the TV show, LOST, and I wanted to gain a little extra insite into the show. What I found in this book was emotions that left me with my mouth agape. It is written by an Irish and I'm not sure if it was b/c its British English (not american english) or that the author just has a fantastic way of describing everything EXTREMELY UNIQUELY (yes everything), that as bizarre as the story is, it was definately a page turner.
I would recommend this book for anyone interested in any of the brief topics mentioned above or for anyone who is interested in something very original and uniquely presented. (And of course, for anyone who likes LOST)
I'm glad I did now.
The Third Policeman isn't as challenging as O'Nolan's first novel At Swim-Two-Birds, which makes it a faster read. On the flip side I'm not thinking about The Third Policeman as much as I think about At Swim.
Read this book if you want an absurd adventure that's easy to follow, fulfilling, and makes you break a smile. I can't wait to read O'Nolan's other works.
I picked up this copy as it was one of the books that were shown within LOST and I wanted some further insight as to why it was there. For those LOST fans, it is a must read both for how it relates to the story, and just because you can gain perspective on Desmond Hume, who was the one who introduced it to us within the story. Only at the very end, as with LOST, do you realize just what is going on and why, though I enjoyed the ending of this book much more than the finale of LOST.