The Third Policeman (Ebook) author Flann OBrien

CHARACTERS The Third Policeman

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. This review has been removed by the Conformity Police According to our legal advisers the review matches the forbidden category of non review in all relevant aspects and has therefore been placed in review detention The definition of a non review is one that is not in conformity i e departs from the accepted form in some legal or moral manner For a guide to conformity see Footnote 1 Non reviews interfere with their books in what we consider to be highly suspect ways They lift their layers and peer into their intimate places in a lascivious manner They fiddle with the inner workings of books and remove entire sections with the aim of remodeling them to suit various illicit purposes Such shameless fondling of a book s pages we condemn outright It is unacceptable that a book and its review should be allowed to fraternize so closely that what was intrinsic to the book is found to have migrated to the review leading to instability in the review world and major confusion for all concerned Further such reviews have a tendency to strike out for a personal life independent of the system that supports them This needless to say can not be allowed We believe that the only solution is to arrest the offending review and detain it indefinitely in a place where it can cause no further confusion to book or reader Non reviews of this type have been allowed to circulate on the highways and byways of Goodreads County for far too long According to our figures than half the reviews posted in recent times fit this category and of the rest at least fifty percent are leaning perilously close to the same dangerous tendency Of the remainder an unfortunately large proportion are deemed to be seriously unstable so that by our calculations the actual amount of conforming reviews today is so minuscule as to be almost invisible Drastic measures are called for if we are to succeed in our aim of erradicating this non review phenomenon completely and restoring the status of the one true and approved review format see Footnote 1 By posting this proclamation in place of the non review and here it must be stated that the Third Policeman is in no way to blame for the particularly immoral non review it inspired we hope to have cancelled out its pernicious effects which had they been allowed to be disseminated would have caused untold miscegenation in the reviewing world for years to come That this innocent book should have been the object of so absurd an attempt on its virtue is in itself absurd and only underlines the utmost necessity of our intervention in this matterWe advise our loyal supporters to read this proclamation and then go on their way silently as they have always done in the past leaving no trace of their passage We know we can depend on their absolute discretion in this matter Others are strongly advised to do the same This review box is now locked and access to it is denied to all unauthorised persons The like button and comment function are likewise off limits Trespassers beware Proviso Those who press the like button without having read the review will be treated fairly if they can bring forward sufficient evidence to that effect Otherwise a test of non knowledge may have to be administered uestions along the lines of What do you not know about non reviews and Is it about a bicycle are being devised Footnote 1 The Accepted Form the review will contain a short synopsis of the plot it will include the words compelling intriguing and fresh viewpoint and it will finish with a short summary of what has been stated already The briefest contact with the book will be sufficient to provide these elements and no unwarranted interference with the book s intimate spaces need result The benefits of such reviews for readers include being able to give an opinion about a book s plot without the necessity of reading it for themselves leading to considerable saving of time and effort

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The Third Policeman

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 himThe last of O'Brien's novels to be publishe. Absurdity done right

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Dimensional police station where through the theories of the scientistphilosopher 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. It Might be the Supreme PancakeFlann O Brien finished this novel in 1940 but it wasn t published until 1967 the year after he died of cancerIt must have broken his heart that it was initially rejected for publication It s arguable that it was finally released at a far appreciative time However this is little comfort if you re dead and what we readers have missed out on is the type of fiction he would have written had it been acceptedFlann O Brien ranks with great wordsmiths and humourists like James Joyce Samuel Beckett and Spike MilliganThe novel loosely details a crime murder and a punishment hanging and the aftermath of both What s uncertain is the timing of the events As with so much in life what appears at first to be linear could eually be circular or recurrent To say any or to be any less circumlocutious would be to enter spoiler territoryThe novel is intelligent challenging playful and economical It makes a powerful case for minimalism against maximalismYou can enter and re enter this compact almost infinitesimal world of infinite jest with infinite pleasureTo paraphrase the first policeman It is nearly an insoluble pancake a conundrum of inscrutable potentialities a snorterFor it to remain so when you read it I m not going to say much about it apart from outlining the metaphysical speculation that seems to drive itIs It About a BicycleIt most certainly is But just as a bicycle has two wheels the weight of the narrative is borne by two wheels that don t always spin in the same direction In fact they might even counteract each other and defy progress I ll try to describe their dialectical machinations belowWhat Fresh Hell is ThisSee if this makes sense Everything is made of omnium Omnium is everywhere You could think of it as particles You could also think of it as waves Omnium is energy Omnium is also light This is the basis of Atomic Theory Obviously in reality particles are in contact with each other Omnium rubs up against other omnium Take me and my bicycle for example If I sit on the seat of my bike for long enough some of me will rub off on my bike and some of my bike will rub off on me Let s call the bit of me that rubs off on my bike my soul My soul is transported through my ass via the seat to my bicycle Eventually it s possible that I might lose all of my soul to my bike What I get in exchange is timber Without my bicycle I am only wood I am lifeless without my bike As if it s not bad enough that some among us are half man half bike the police are finding that and people are losing their bikes Without our bikes we can t make any progress on our journey If our goal is heaven we can t get to heaven without our bike ie without our soul The handle bars on our bicycles are our consciences The lamps illuminate our path If we re parted from our bicycles we might lose our direction in life We might fall into a life of crime We might be destined for hell Indeed life without a soul might define hell We don t even have to die to get to hell When we get to hell it might even look very much like life before we died When we get to hell we might find that the punishment for our crime is to relive our lives Hell might be an eternal repetition of our lives of crime Hell might not be other people It might be us Hell might be an eternal recurrence of ourselves and our past livesA Journey is An HallucinationA different approach to life and death comes from the narrator s favourite philosopher de Selby 1 He argues that a journey is an hallucination For him human existence is a succession of static experiences each infinitely briefEach experience is a static occurrence No experience is a point on the axis on which you go from A to B It is simply a rest or a pause At no point is the traveller moving They are never actually going anywhere They are never progressing from A to BThe human mind groups together millions of these rests and mistakenly calls the aggregate motionHowever de Selby believes that motion is an illusion He argues that there is no progression or serialism in life Time does not pass Time as we know it does not exist Life is a photograph not a cinematographic filmIf we are not moving anywhere we are not moving or progressing towards death If death is the supreme hallucination then our belief that we are approaching death must be illusoryThe Triangulation of the Bicycular DialecticThese are two very different perspectives on life and death morality and mortality But I won t say any It s important that you negotiate the novel s journey guided primarily by Flann O Brien and influenced by as few external preconceptions as possible You have to think it through for yourself when you read it That s the challenge and the fun part and the ultimate reward the supreme pancakeHowever I ll disclose some uestions I asked while reading the novelIf God is a Trinity is the House of God triangularIf God s Police enforce God s Law who is the third policemanI won t answer them either because Flann O Brien counsels Always ask any uestions that are to be asked and never answer anyI hope you get to read and enjoy the novelFOOTNOTES1 Reprised in The Dalkey Archive SOUNDTRACKMiles Davis Ascenseur pour l Echafaud Miles Moreau Clowns Collapse BoardYou shake your head you can t believeThe sickening stability of my lifeYou ve got about an hour leftAnd then you re standingOn the collapse board againAnd feel the rope around your neck again


10 thoughts on “The Third Policeman

  1. says:

    This review has been removed by the Conformity Police According to our legal advisers the review matches the forbidden category of ‘

  2. says:

    According to the Atomic Theory I am 80% couch

  3. says:

    If you ever want to find out what it's like being the only sober person in a room full of professors telling each other jokes in Latin and heffing and hawing and pulling each others' beards here's a good place to startOtherwise not

  4. says:

    The Irish ExistentialistSo if Alice had fallen down the rabbit hole in Ireland rather than in England the result could well be The Third Policemen Or aptly if Shem and Shaun had set out on the road West instead of East down the River Liffey it could be the alternative Finnegans Wake But on the third hand it seems likely that O’Brien is engaged in a massive send up of Everything Irish from its grammar to its

  5. says:

    The Third Policeman Flann O'BrienThe Third Policeman is a novel by Irish writer Brian O'Nolan writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien It was written between 1939 and 1940 but after it initially failed to find a publisher the author withdrew the manuscript from circulation and claimed he had lost it The book remained unpublished at the time of his death in 1966 It was published by MacGibbon Kee in 1967تاریخ نخس

  6. says:

    It Might be the Supreme PancakeFlann O’Brien finished this novel in 1940 but it wasn’t published until 1967 the year after he died of cancerIt must have broken his heart that it was initially rejected for publication It

  7. says:

    Absurdity done right

  8. says:

    Joe had been explaining things in the meantime He said it was again the beginning of the unfinished the re discovery of the familiar the re experience of the already suffered the fresh forgetting of the unremembered Hell

  9. says:

    The Third Policeman is a fantastic work of imaginative fictional wonder that by the end somehow manages to become a bit exasperating in all its fantastic imaginative wonderfulness Each chapter by itself is a kind of magical and mind bending set piece illustrating baffling physical and metaphysical conundrums paradoxes absurdities and improbabilities but this is perhaps a situation where the pieces are greater than the whole a s

  10. says:

    What Does A Genuinely Avant Garde Novel Look Like?Everyone has a theory about this novel There are at least five c