The Third Policeman

Flann O’Brien

A thriller, a 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.

Reviews of The Third Policeman

  • ‘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.’ Sunday Times

    ‘Flann O’Brien is inventive, his storytelling is swift and sure, making the eccentric seem natural and the commonplace hilarious.’ The Times

    ‘Even with “Ulysses” and “Finnegans Wake” behind him, James Joyce might have been envious.’ Observer

    ‘Wonderful. “The Third Policeman” is a great masterpiece of black humour.’ George Mackay Brown