The Third Policeman

Flann O'Brien, Author, Jim Norton, Read by , read by Jim Norton. Naxos Audiobooks $41.98 (0p) ISBN 978-962-634-455-2

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. This is a comic/surreal tale of a one-legged gentleman farmer who participates in a poorly planned botched robbery-turned-murder, only to find himself having a long conversation with the dead man shortly after the deed. In addition he hears from his own soul, who he names “Joe.” Joe’s voice is that of a wry observer with a voice of calm, removed authority, whereas dead man Mathers’ voice is completely nasal, at once sickly and droll. Mathers sends the farmer to a two-dimensional barracks of three metaphysical policemen. Here he finds himself in a world where people can become bicycles and eternity is within walking distance. Norton’s rendition of the main policeman, Sergeant Pluck, tips the reading into a full-out performance. The enormous blustery fellow with red cheeks and brushy mustache and eyebrows is portrayed like a jolly yet dangerous Disney walrus. Norton’s Irish brogue, accentuated to different degrees with the various characters, ties the ribbon on a perfect presentation of this absurd and chilling masterpiece. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Genre: Audio
Downloadable Audio - 978-962-954-600-7
Paperback - 207 pages - 978-0-00-724717-2
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-1-56478-214-4
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-452-25912-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60252-798-0
Compact Disc - 978-962-634-964-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-3425-6
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