The Third Policeman

Ranked #11 in Irish, Ranked #24 in Surrealismsee more rankings.

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,"... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Third Policeman from the world's leading experts.

Mark O'Connell there’s something culturally Irish, but not uniquely Irish, of using logic against itself — of exposing the absurdity that’s inherent in logic, if you know what I mean —that he does incredibly well. (Source)

Joanna Walsh Flann O’Brien is very good at the combination of the familiar and the horrifying (Source)

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