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''The Third Policeman'' is a darkly comic novel by Irish author Flann O'Brien, best known for his earlier work ''Literature/AtSwimTwoBirds''. Written between 1939 and 1940, it didn't receive publication until 1967, after the author's death.

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''The Third Policeman'' is a darkly comic novel by Irish author Flann O'Brien, Creator/FlannOBrien, best known for his earlier work ''Literature/AtSwimTwoBirds''. Written between 1939 and 1940, it didn't receive publication until 1967, after the author's death.


** Not to mention the underground bunker the policemen refer to as Eternity. The narrator opens a door on one side of the room he's sitting in and sees the other side of the room.



* HereWeGoAgain

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* HereWeGoAgainHereWeGoAgain: [[spoiler:"Is it about a bicycle?"]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Everyone in their neighborhood ''thinks'' Divney and the narrator are this trope, but it's subverted: they're actually getting quite sick of each other, but the narrator mistrusts Divney and won't let him run off by himself to retrieve the money from where he cached it.

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* KnowNothingKnowItAll: de Selby, and the philosophers who analyze him, are largely steeped in this. de Selby's ideas are complete nonsense, while the people who analyze him are clearly intelligent but would rather waste their lives analyzing de Selby.


* WordSaladPhilosopher: de Selby

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* WordSaladPhilosopher: WordSaladPhilosophy: de SelbySelby's writings come across as such.


Notably, The Third Policeman is considered one of the very first [[{{Postmodernism}} postmodernist]] works, despite being written long before the movement began in earnest.

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Notably, The Third Policeman the novel is considered one of the very first [[{{Postmodernism}} postmodernist]] works, despite being written long before the movement began in earnest.

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* WordSaladPhilosopher: de Selby


* NoNameGiven: The narrator. Curiously, the narrator himself ''forgets'' his own name. He randomly decides to name is soul Joe however though but it's quite clearly a different character...somehow.

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* NoNameGiven: The narrator. Curiously, the narrator himself ''forgets'' his own name. He randomly Once he starts having conversations with his soul he decides to name is call his soul Joe however though Joe, but it's quite clearly a different character...somehow.exactly what relationship they have, or how he's able to do that, is not made clear.

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* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Women barely feature in the book, even the narrator's mother is not much more than a vague memory for him. On the other hand, look at the relationships the men in the book have with their bicycles...


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* StealthPun: See VillageBicycle.

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* GainaxEnding: Inverted. Although the ending is open to interpretation and it's certainly weird in itself, if you view it the way the author did ([[spoiler:that the narrator is in hell]]) then it's the only thing in the book that ''does'' make sense.

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Notably, The Third Policeman is considered one of the very first [[{{Postmodernism}} postmodernist]] works, despite being written long before the movement began in earnest.

''Some trope titles below are spoilers in themselves.''


* NoNameGiven: The narrator. Curiously, the narrator himself ''forgets'' his own name.

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* NoNameGiven: The narrator. Curiously, the narrator himself ''forgets'' his own name. He randomly decides to name is soul Joe however though but it's quite clearly a different character...somehow.


* InsaneTrollLogic: Much of the book runs on this, with the policemen giving long exegeses on things that are fundamentally nonsensical, absurd, or outright impossible.



* KarmaHoudini: Subverted - [[spoiler:Divney gets away scot-free with killing the narrator and stealing Mathers' money. However, the ending makes it clear that, in death, he will experience exactly the same fate as the narrator]].

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* KarmaHoudini: Subverted - -- [[spoiler:Divney gets away scot-free with killing the narrator and stealing Mathers' money. However, the ending makes it clear that, in death, he will experience exactly the same fate as the narrator]].


* UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland: The novel's setting (initially, at any rate).



* StrokeCountry: The novel's setting (initially, at any rate).

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