The Third Policeman

The Third Policeman

Paperback John F. Byrne Irish Literature Series

By (author) Flann O'Brien, Introduction by Denis Donoghue

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  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Format: Paperback | 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 213mm x 15mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 14 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Normal, IL
  • ISBN 10: 156478214X
  • ISBN 13: 9781564782144
  • Edition statement: Dalkey Archive.
  • Sales rank: 14,994

Product description

The Third Policeman is Flann O'Brien's brilliantly dark 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.The last of O'Brien's novels to be published, The Third Policeman joins O'Brien's other fiction ( At Swim-Two-Birds, The Poor Mouth, The Hard Life, The Best of Myles, and The Dalkey Archive) to ensure his place, along with James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, as one of Ireland's great comic geniuses.

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Review quote

As with Scott Fitzgerald, there is a brilliant ease in his prose, a poignant grace glimmering off every page. --John Updike

Back cover copy

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.