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0510 | The Third Policeman | Flann O’Brien

0510 | The Third Policeman | Flann O’Brien post image

Context: We heard a bomb go off in a nearby neighbourhood while I was reading this. An eerie coincidence considering the novel’s key event.

This starts off as normal as you like and then suddenly, like Alice down the rabbit hole while taking LSD, takes you on a mind-bending and, at times, literarily taxing voyage into the bizarre towards an ending that has a great twist followed by a wry comment on eternity.

I could probably just stop there…

…but I won’t, because there’s more to say about this quirky novel which almost never got published. O’Brien explores a theme which many of us will have to explore personally at some point. Well, all of us actually. And in doing so, raises some important questions, such as how important bicycles actually might be for the future of humanity.

I think that might just about do it. Oh, other than to say that if you, like me, find the bonkers nature of events and conversations once you go down the rabbit hole a tad tedious, have a rethink about that when you’ve got to the end. It put things in perspective for me and made me grateful that tedium is one thing I’m pretty sure I won’t have to endure.

Hope you can say the same thing.


Not everyone knows how I killed old Phillip Mathers, smashing his jaw in with a spade; but first it is better to speak of my friendship with John Divney because it was he who first knocked old Mathers down by giving him a great blow in the neck witha  special bicycle pump which he manufactured himself out of a hollow iron bar.


This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

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