The Third Policeman (Flann O’Brien)

ThirdPolicemanWhat was Flann O’Brien smoking when he came up with the idea for this? The narrative stops making any sense whatsoever after chapter two, yet all the insanity it throws at you, especially the excerpts about some raving lunatic pseudo-scientist Shelby, are without exception so hilarious they make the work very endearing to read even if you don’t quite get what the hell is O’Brien raving about most of the time.

If there was a philosophical theme or commentary on society other than that the existence itself doesn’t and shouldn’t make sense, it went above my head, and it will probably go above yours unless you have a degree in Irish literature or something (I did notice a reference to Finnegan’s Wake, I think).

Positive: Negative:
Eloquent prose Plot makes no sense so much it starts feeling random in the middle
Surreal, quirky atmosphere
Interesting, quirky characters
Absolutely hilarious, mind-blowing concepts, especially those accredited to the mad scientist Shelby (the earth is sausage shaped, guys)
Awesome ending twist

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