The Third Policeman: Unabridged (Naxos Complete Classics) (Modern Fiction) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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“Flann O’Brien learned from Joyce the art of tuning language to a lyrical pitch, which he could then turn to his purpose, whether it was to be plain foolery, unconcealed indignation or high comedy. The best of his contemporaries and many subsequent Irish writers have much to thank him for.”
“Flann O’Brien is inventive, his storytelling is swift and sure, making the eccentric seem natural and the commonplace hilarious.”
“Even with Ulysses and Finnegans Wake behind him, James Joyce might have been envious.”
From the Back Cover
A thriller, an hilarious comic satire about an archetypal village police force, a surrealistic vision of eternity, the story of a tender, brief, unrequited love affair between a man and his bicycle and a chilling fable of unending guilt, 'The Third Policeman' is comparable only to 'Alice in Wonderland' as an allegory of the absurd. Distinguished by endless comic invention and its delicate balancing of logic and fantasy, 'The Third Policeman' is unique in the English language.
"Wonderful. 'The Third Policeman' is a great masterpiece of black humour"
GEORGE MACKAY BROWN
"Flann O'Brien learned from Joyce the art of tuning language to a lyrical pitch, which he could then turn to his purpose, whether it was to be plain foolery, unconcealed indignation or high comedy. The best of his contemporaries and many subsequent Irish writers have much to thank him for"
"Flann O'Brien is inventive, his storytelling is swift and sure, making the eccentric seem natural and the commonplace hilarious"
"Even with 'Ulysses' and 'Finnegans Wake' behind him, James Joyce might have been envious"
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the finest long passages in the book, which had me drumming my heels in pure visceral pleasure, is when the policeman MacCruiskeen shows the narrator a little wooden chest he has made, "perfect in its proportions and without fault in its workmanship." It turns out that he has made thirty more, each smaller than the last and contained inside its predecessor, of which series even the thirteenth one was so small it "took me three years to make and it took me another year to believe that I had made it." What I particularly delighted in was the off-kilter and yet just-so dialogue between the policeman and our man:
"There now," said MacCruiskeen.
"It is nearly too nice," I said at last, "to talk about it.Read more ›
"Flann O'Brien is a twisted genius."
The language, the turn of phrase and the surreal aspects to the story (including the often hilarious footnotes) are unparalleled. This is a brilliant book and your life is much less complete without reading it.
Flann O'Brien (real name Brian O'Nolan, who also wrote under the pseudonym Myles na Gopaleen) is a genius. His imagination, his turn of phrase, his sense of humour, each of these would be the envy of many an acclaimed author. To have them all displayed so expertly in one novel... as you can tell I loved it. I have spent the past few days consistently hurting with laughter. Proper belly-laughter. After finishing the book I have gone back to re-read sections.
The story begins normally enough on an Irish farm. At the beginning the lyrical prose is entertaining enough, but following a rather dark crime by the narrator the book takes off, with the narrator trying to retain his sanity as event after surreal event unravels before him.
Anyone who can create the eminent philosopher De Selby, whose thoughts pepper the book deserves any praise that comes their way. De Selby's theories include, "A row of houses is a row of necessary evils" (houses have lead to the softening of the human race); "night is in fact accumulations of black air", a sort of volcanic dust which obscures day & consequently sleep is in fact a series of fits and heart attacks; "journeys are an hallucination"; and who, in my favourite moment, following up his theory that when you look at a reflection of yourself in the mirror you see a younger version of yourself, sets up two mirrors opposite each other, producing an infinite series of reflections. De Selby then looks through a telescope and claims to have seen himself as a young boy.
Fans of the book will find the reading opens up the story, and if you love the book this CD is essential. The atmosphere of the strange countryside the narrator travels in, the comic conversations, the obsession with bicycles - all these and more come alive.
Norton's reading is, at first shade brisk, but the listener quickly adapts to it. He adopts a confidential tone that matches O'Brien's prose style, which itself counterpoints the absurdist story.
All the voices are beautifully delineated, except the voice of Joe, which is a little too much like the narrator's. I feel embarrassed to level any criticism at this recording, but I might as well be honest about it.
That aside, it's a triumph.
Towards the end of his life O'Brien enjoyed a stage adaptation of The Dalkey Archive - and I'm sure he would have loved Norton's reading of The Third Policeman just as much.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Too fantastic"(!) to be published in his own lifetime. Those editors should have been arrested. Call MacCruiskeen! On yer bike! Read morePublished 10 hours ago by pgm3
For all it's literary qualities, this book is a perversely easy read - for which the writer deserves much admiration. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. Mw Arnold
Didn't get it at all. A post death farce? Cultural difference and time warp meant I couldn't relate to this book.Published 2 months ago by Mr A G Johnson
love this book, fantastic - full of amazing ideas and the last few pages are so shockingly unexpected, I punched the sky when I'd finished.Published 3 months ago by Lorraine Hughes
Read long ago & still memorable, so bought as present. Well received.Published 4 months ago by L. Lee
I hadn't realised when buying this book that I was actually joining a cult. The book is a giddy, surreal, good-humoured and bizarre read, which despite its unlikely turns and weird... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Waterbaby
One of my favourite books ever. Bought this as it was one of the books in the hatch in Lost season 2 and wanted to know what was going on. This book is awesome. And weird. Read morePublished 5 months ago by digitalTOMO