The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

March 13, 2006

Disappointed by cult

After people have been trying to talk me into doing it for years, I have now finally read Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman. I must admit that I didn't do it because of other people's recommendations (which were plentiful), but mostly because the creators of the TV series Lost said that anyone who has read the book "will have a lot more ammunition when dissecting plotlines" of the show.

And I could see a number of interesting parallels to the TV show, especially in the part of the book that deals with eternity. Mostly, however, I was disappointed. In fact, I see why O'Brien's book was initially turned down by the publisher; and I don't see why people find it funny. But maybe it's just incompatible with my sense of humour. I think it's trying too hard to be clever and it's trying too hard to be funny, and like most things that are trying too hard, it fails to be either.

The supposedly big revelation of the book was obvious to me the whole time (maybe I just read too many crime novels to figure it out instantly), hence there was no big mystery about anything that went on, and the remainder of the story was a bit thin. I actually had to struggle my way through the book, only to get a confirmation of what I had already known.

Are strange theories about people and bicycles really enough to turn a book into a cult book?

Posted by Horst on March 13, 2006 11:30 PM to books & bookkeeping | Tell-a-friend

dd said on March 16, 2006 12:26 AM:

what a relief.
I tried to read "at swim two birds" and "from the dalkey archives" and couldnīt finish either because they bored me to death. good to know Iīm not the only one.

and by the way, I think italo calvino is massively overrated, too.

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