Obtenez votre premier livre audio gratuitement

The Third Policeman

Auteur(s): Flann O'Brien
Narrateur(s): Jim Norton
Durée: 6 h et 43 min
Catégories: Littérature, Classiques
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 évaluations)

CDN$ 14,95 par mois; les 30 premiers jours sont gratuits. Annulable en tout temps.

Évaluations de journalistes

Why we think it's Essential: Jim Norton turns this wild post-modern romp into an accessible absurdist story that sounds as though it has been narrated by a studio full of talent. This modern classic can often make little sense when read, but Norton never misses a beat. While the story ranges from life to afterlife and everywhere in between, Norton keeps us grounded, entertained, and totally engrossed. You might've missed it in lit class, but don't let it roll by now. — Chris Doheny

Description

Flann O'Brien's most popular and surrealistic novel concerns an imaginary, hellish village police force and a local murder.

Weird, satirical, and very funny, its popularity has suddenly increased with the mention of the novel in the TV series Lost.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1967 Flann O'Brien (P)2012 Naxos AudioBooks

Ce que les critiques en disent

"His writing is invariably compared to those other Irish greats, Joyce and Beckett, but for me he is infinitely more accessible and much funnier." (Sue Arnold, The Guardian, UK)
"If ever a book was brought to life by a reading, it is this presentation of O'Brien's posthumously published classic. Norton individually crafts voices and personalities for each character in such a way that a listener might imagine an entire cast of voice talent working overtime....[He] ties the ribbon on a perfect presentation of this absurd and chilling masterpiece." ( Publishers Weekly)

D'autres livres audio du même...

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    8
  • 4 étoiles
    0
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    1

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    9
  • 4 étoiles
    0
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    0

Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    6
  • 4 étoiles
    2
  • 3 étoiles
    0
  • 2 étoiles
    0
  • 1 étoile
    1

Évaluations – Cliquez sur les onglets pour changer la source des évaluations.

Trier :
Trier par:
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Is it about a bicycle?

It is nearly impossible to say anything about Flann O’Brien’s novel THE THIRD POLICEMAN. The story itself is an impossibility. Its very telling is terrifying. It is an eternal paradox about murder, a bicycle, policemen, a physicist named de Selby, a horse, a women named Pegeen Meers, a black box fit to hold nothing other than Schrödinger’s cat, and a man named John Divney. Jim Norton’s performance is delightful. Listen to it at least three times.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

An underappreciated masterpiece

An underappreciated literary masterpiece and one of the greatest audio books of all time. Jim Norton does a magnificent job as the narrator.

Trier :
Trier par:
  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2009-12-30

Narrator extradinaire

This is a very funny story but the narrator makes it great. It is surreal so one must suspend logic to enjoy it.
The skill and talent of Jim Norton is unbelievable. I would like to know if he is Irish or not. He has the accent down pat. His ability to interpret the various characters, and there are many weird and wonderful, is fantastic.

10 personnes sur 10 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 2015-03-01

Hell is other people's bicycles.

"Joe had been explaining things in the meantime. He said it was again the beginning of the unfinished, the re-discovery of the familiar, the re-experience of the already suffered, the fresh-forgetting of the unremembered. Hell goes round and round. In shape it is circular and by nature it is interminable, repetitive and very nearly unbearable."

- O'Brien (omitted from the published novel)

After finishing Flann O'Brien's dark masterpiece of absurdity, I wanted to jam a well-chewed copy of Joyce in one pocket, a copy of Sterne in the other, push a DFW in my back left pocket, put some dark strawberry jam in my back right pocket, turn left twice, exit into my tight little garage and immediately make sweet sweet love to the nearest bicycle available. No. Not yet. She's not ready, nor is my review. I'll pick up this peach tomorrow.

So, it isn't tomorrow, but time and peaches are relative in purgatory. This is one of those books that is nearly impossible to review, but there is a space beyond impossible where letting go of this book exists. So, let's press forward shall we? The prose is amazing, funky; it floats and bursts from the page. Like Joyce and other Irish writers, O'Brien OWNs the English language (it is merely mortgaged to us mortals). Reading O'Brien is like watching one of those strange kids who can keep a soccer ball from ever hitting the ground. Gravity just doesn't matter. But let's bounce back to bikes and literature >

So, Flann O'Brien's novel seems to exist in a strange purgatory between Sterne's 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman' and DFW's 'The Broom of the System'. It is full of digressions, wooden legs, bicycles, murder, policemen (obviously), footnotes*, and much much more. This is one of those novels where rules are murdered and post-modernism is both born and twisted. There are books that are written to be sold and novels written to be worshiped. Get on your knees fellow travelers and start praying.

Norton's narration is brilliant. Seriously, BRILLIANT.

*O'Brien was out DFWing DFW before DFW was born.

32 personnes sur 36 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jefferson
  • 2017-05-04

A Murderer Adrift in a Dantean Irish Wonderland

The narrator of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman (1940/1967) begins his story, "Not everybody knows how I killed old Phillip Mathers, smashing his jaw in with my spade." The first chapter then relates how the narrator was abandoned and orphaned as a boy, educated at a good boarding school where he fell in love with the work of the physicist/philosopher/psychologist de Selby, graduated and lost his leg and gained a wooden one, came home to find John Divney running the family farm and pub, spent all his time and money on English, French, and German commentaries on his hero de Selby, and finally agreed to help Divney murder Mathers to get enough money to publish a "definitive" annotated de Selby index. For three years after the murder the narrator never let Divney out of his sight for fear that his "friend" would abscond with their victim's money, until Divney has the narrator go to the old man's house to retrieve the black cash box hidden under the floorboards there.

But when the narrator reaches under the floorboards, he experiences an "ineffable" fugue, after which he finds that the cash box (which he saw a moment earlier) is actually absent, while Mathers is present and sentient. The narrator has forgotten his name (which he has never revealed) and now embarks on an absurd, disturbing, fantastic adventure, ostensibly to locate the cash box. Cries of amazement regularly escape his lips. He wonders if he "was dreaming or in the grip of some hallucination." Has he entered an Irish Wonderland, Heaven, or Hell? Are the bicycle-obsessed policemen there eccentrics, angels, or devils?

The surreal situations are coherent and logical in a way worthy of Lewis Carroll. Sergeant Pluck, for example, explains that, due to "the Atomic Theory," by which atoms are "as lively as twenty leprechauns doing a jig on top of a tombstone," people who ride bicycles exchange particles with them, leading to this man being 23% bicycle or that bicycle 78% man, and so on. Did you ever notice that bicycles often don't end up right where you left them? (Thus Pluck locks his bicycle in the solitary confinement cell.) Best not to ponder what happens when a man rides a woman's bicycle or vice versa! Then there is the creative second policeman MacCruiskeen who plays a musical instrument whose notes are so high they are inaudible and displays a series of inter-nested chests ending in ones so small they are invisible. As for the crazy, third policeman, Fox, out on patrol for 25 years, the less said the better.

Meanwhile, the beginnings of the 12 chapters of the novel teem with footnotes relating to the theories, experiments, and writings of the narrator's crackpot idol de Selby as they prefigure the coming action of the chapters with topics like water, sleep, time, direction, roads, names, houses, and mirrors. The footnotes also mediate between de Selby commentators, like the two trusted experts, Hatchjaw and Bassett, and the "shadowy" Kraus and the "egregious" du Garbandier, some of whom may be pseudonyms or imposters, all of whom disagree on nearly everything. Isn't academia is prey to rivalries, forgeries, and unworthy subjects of study!

This opposing mirror infinity is a motif in the novel: footnotes inside footnotes, scholars inside scholars, codices inside codices, chests inside chests, rooms inside rooms, bodies inside bodies. . . It is vertiginous.

The narrator is odd. He is both honest and unreliable. We believe what he says, but note much that he leaves unsaid (like just what happened to his leg). After saying early on that he committed his "greatest sin" for de Selby, the narrator seems free from remorse for helping to murder an old man. He is both gullible and canny about "friend" Divney, knowing that the freeloader has been robbing their customers and him but letting himself get talked into killing Mathers for money and then refusing to be separated from Divney until the money has been divided. The narrator is not as bad as Divney, yet he is self-centered, as in his materialistic wants in "Eternity" and his big plans for "his" omnium (the essential divine building block of everything).

All of the above is written by O'Brien with great humor humor, preventing things from getting too bleak, bizarre, or dry. The scenes where Pluck lists a series of names to see if one might be the narrator's, or a rescue company of one-legged men disguise their number, or the news that Hatchjaw was arrested in Europe for impersonating himself, or the explanation for how unerringly Pluck is able to locate a stolen bicycle, or Mathers' reason for saying no to every request, or the narrator's conversations with his soul ("Joe"), all these and many more are very funny.

Another saving grace of the nightmare is the frequently lyrical, pastoral beauty.
"Birds were audible in the secrecy of the bigger trees, changing branches and conversing not tumultuously. In a field by the road a donkey stood quietly, as if he were examining the morning, bit by bit, unhurryingly… as if he understood completely these unexplainable enjoyments of the world."

But O'Brien is also a master of the disturbing detail, as of the police barracks:
"I had never seen with my eyes ever in my life before anything so unnatural and appalling and my gaze faltered about the thing uncomprehendingly as if at least one of the customary dimensions was missing, leaving no meaning to the remainder."

Audiobook reader Jim Norton gives a marvelous reading of the novel. His Irish accent ranges from the slight and educated (the narrator) to the broad and working class (Sergeant Pluck). He's also an uncanny uptight pompous British scholar, a nasal dead old man, and an italics-voiced soul. He reads every word and pause with perfect intention and understanding.

If you'd like a richly written unique book with flavors of Waiting for Godot, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Divine Comedy, and the old Prisoner TV show, you should read The Third Policeman.

5 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sparkly
  • From Space
  • 2016-03-22

Sort of about Bicycles and Policemen...and Death.

I chose this after a recommendation from list of bicycle themed novels. I was expecting an Irish Poirot, investigating murder in the countryside while pedaling about. Ha! The bicycle ended up being such a MacGuffin, the joke was on me. Instead, it is an entrancing and original story about fate and death. Events unfurl in a causative but illogical manner, as one would expect from a novel described in the synopsis as "surrealist" (though how did I miss that?!). I found the ending highly satisfying, like a fuzzy image coming into focus over a long, long take. I admit that I never would have picked this up if I weren't confused about it - but I am really glad I did. Kafka meets Joyce. Delightful.

4 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • udidit
  • 2014-12-31

A leap of imagination! Actually pleasurable.

Unusual humour which kept me listening on and off but could never discount it's originality which kept me listening even though I wasn't laughing! I genuinely liked this book . The narration was brilliantly done.

3 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 2009-02-18

Worth the Effort

It is hard to figure out where this book is going at times, however it has many comical parts and the narrator does a great job. It is written in the same style as Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and I would think that if you liked that book you would also like this one. The book might not make total sense until you finish it though.

9 personnes sur 11 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • 2015-01-03

Now that was a fine pancake

On another continent, Flann O'Brien could masquerade as John Kennedy Toole. Delightful wit. I can recommend it without any reservation.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Josephine
  • 2014-12-17

I just didn't get it...

I am honest enough to say I didn't get this book and confident enough to admit that it was probably just me. I was able to follow the book, per say, meaning I knew what was going on, but the whole time I kept saying, "What?". I felt lost. Hey - that might have been the point though. The narrator was good - and really it was his soothing voice that kept me going. I kept waiting for something to happen. While tons did in fact happened, but they all left me thinking, "okay NOW it's going to make sense". That never happened. It is a well written book, but, well, just not my kind of book I suppose.

5 personnes sur 6 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian C Robertson
  • South Australia, Australia
  • 2015-05-29

The Other Policeman's Ball

I recall that in the 90s there was a series of comedic/musical shows put on by Amnesty International and, at least originally, led by John Cleese (Monty Python), called "The Secret Policeman's Ball". I have no idea if this title inspired the name of those farcical, funny shows (which you can still find parts of on You Tube), but it could well have done.
This book, often regarded as at the forefront of the Post Modernest movement in literature, has everything and nothing. It is full to the brim, yet empty of content. It is insightful about things that really are of no consequence. And it is very, very clever.
However, it is not for everyone. It is very difficult to follow if you don't listen carefully. Example: my practice is to listen to books in the car to work and back; but not this book. It is too dense with detail and the devil is not only to be found there, but finding him/her is not enough. You then have to pour them a cup of tea and sup' with them for fear that you too will petrify over time, turn into a bicycle or come to admit understanding of something that is not capable of rational thought. Put another way, if you like "Catch 22", you will probably find this book illogical!
I can't say I enjoyed the book. It was a bit too much like hard work. But I admire it immensely, I am astounded by its breath of literary allusion and I loved the Irish wit (what an Aussie might call, "taking the piss"!). The ludicrous footnotes to the works of de Selby are a good example of this.
I agree with the other reviewers that Norton's reading is nothing short of brilliant.
Finally, a reminder that, like all Naxos productions I have downloaded, there is a PDF that comes with the title. They are generally worth the effort to open up (from the My Books table on the Audible site) and that is true in this case, too.

4 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • ST Louis, MO, USA
  • 2008-08-16

Patience

Stick with it; this book is surprisingly good,funny very Irish

6 personnes sur 8 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente