Friday, October 21, 2005

Book 58: The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien

I first became intrigued by this 1967 novel when it was mentioned in some articles as a book that would supposedly be "prominently featured" on the television show Lost. When I read more about the book and saw that it is published by Dalkey Archive Press, an indie publisher that is housed at my alma mater, I immediately became even more interested. Dalkey is rather famous for books that are experimental and unusual in nature, and honestly, I'm a little disappointed that it took a TV show to introduce me to the author. His work is right up my alley.

It's practically impossible to describe The Third Policeman without giving away pretty major plot details. Unfortunately, stories about the book, a blurb on the cover and an introduction also give away its secrets, so if you do happen to pick it up and want to be truly surprised on the final page, don't read any of those. With that said, knowing the book's surprise took absolutely nothing away from my enjoyment of it. It's an absurd and hilarious story that is so engaging that I'm already wanting to read other works by O'Brien. In fact, I give the book a rare A+.


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