Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Third Policeman and some Polish reading

I wanted to read Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman since I heard that reading it would help me figure out what's going on in Lost. Great reason, eh? As it turns out, I'm no closer in understanding Lost... but I've realised that the absurd is not really for me...

The book itself is about some very strange events that happen to our main character. And by strange I mean really strange, like viewing a bicycle as almost human and developing a relationship with it. The action is peppered with some very long footnotes explaining the scientific theories of a Mr De Selby, greatly admired by the main character. I don't know whether the theories or the action is more absurd.

I'm not saying I hated it, I didn't. I did enjoy some bits and parts were definitely amusing. And there is no question that the story is extremely intelligent and that O'Brien was way ahead of his time when he wrote it around 1940 (it was only published in the 1960s). But it just wasn't my kind of thing.

I started The Third Policeman during the Read-A-Thon, which was definitely a mistake. Not a read-a-thon friendly book! The other book I half-finished during the Read-a-thon was a collection of columns by Polish actress Krystyna Janda, Rozowe Tabletki na Uspokojenie, which literally translated means Pink pills to calm you down. I'm enjoying reading in Polish a lot more than I used to, which was the point of the whole excercise so I'm happy. This particular book was entertaining, I'm glad I picked it up.

Challenges: A-Z Challenge, 888 Challenge, 1% Well-Read Challenge

2 comments:

PageTurner said...

I had to click on this right away as I was involved in a book club a few years ago with a guy who had only read The Third Policeman-the only book he read in several years. You give a much better representation of it!

joanna said...

pageturner - I'd be curious to read your thoughts on it, if you choose to read it...