Wednesday, October 05, 2011

An Insoluble Question

I see from a post at "Crooked Timber" that it's Flann O'Brien's birthday. His At-Swim-Two-Birds is quite good, but The Third Policeman, a novel about a murderer, whose conscience is named Joe, trying to outfox policemen who obsessively steal bicycles, is an irreplaceable gem.

His short story (very short), An Insoluble Question, gives a taste of what he's like.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Sullivan9:42 AM

    I agree; At-Swim-Two-Birds  was recommended to me as one of the great books of the 20th century, which I'm not too sure about, though I'll revisit it someday; but I enjoyed The Third Policeman much more. It's hard to pull off that combination of surreal and nightmarish but also genuinely funny; the Hellboy comics frequently manage it. Flann O'Brien however has the additional advantage of full-throttle Irishness. Personally I'd rate him higher than Joyce.

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