The Third Policeman
Review by Iven Lourie
Oh come on--don't tell me you've never read Flann O'Brien? Inimitable pen name of Brian O'Nolan (go figure), the inimitable humorist for the Dublin newspaper and novelist who wrote both in Gaelic and English?
You've never heard of Dalkey Archive Press in Illinois--which is named for another one of O'Brien's unique novels (The Dalkey Archive, that is)? And then again, have you read Ulysses, where before or after the library scene (representing the passage by Charybdis and Scylla, I believe) Stephen Daedalus is crossing the square in downtown Dublin and notes that he sees the newspaperman in seedy suit or some such, who is in fact Brian O'Nolan, a contemporary of Joyce's?
Well...I highly recommend that you start with THE THIRD POLICEMAN, which in spite of being a translation from the original in Gaelic has to be one of the funniest books ever written in any language. I can't begin to describe it because it is in a genre of its own, something like Gothic-Fantasy-Satirical-Irish Black Humor-Twainian-Humbuggerist-Social Commentary.
Some years ago when I was working on some short book reviews for a bookstore newsletter (and that is another long story better left out here), I discovered that my colleague at the time, Doug, had never read THE THIRD POLICEMAN. I immediately secured a copy and vowed that we needed to review the Dalkey Archives Press reprint of the novel IMMEDIATELY! And so the intrepid Doug picked it up and started reading the first chapter while I was typing some other rubbish on a computer. In (approximately) 10 minutes time, he started laughing, and he continued laughing until he was laughing so hard that he fell off the wooden chair he was sitting on and literally rolled on the floor. Now, you may consider this story apocryphal or even inconsequential. But I just wish to declare here, publicly, that that is the only time I have ever seen anyone fulfill that crusty cliche -- that I laughed so hard I fell off my chair. Doug could have injured himself, and in fact, he ended up gasping for air and nearly asphyxiating himself over Flann O'Brien. So that's all I'm going to say about this here, except to add that every reader aged 12 years or older (and the occasional brilliant toddler, too) must read Flann O'Brien to expand his or her mental boundaries and contribute to their elasticity. But caveat emptor -- don't sit on a bar stool or any seat that is too slippery when you read him. And above all, don't read him near any steep drop-offs like a ravine or riverbank, much less while climbing the Matterhorn or Mt. Whitney with spikes and pulleys and all that gear, or visiting the Grand Canyon.
Our editor, Iven Lourie, recommends this book very highly as a bardo adventure, among other things....
Below you'll find a review of Kelly's recent book signing in LA. Thanks to Marc for sending this in.
Journey to the Heart of the Maker Book Signing report from Marc in LA
The Mystic Journey is a terrific bookstore and meeting place in Venice, California .
Brick building faces, with a layer of bustling people, arm in arm, moving past while a layer of cars moved past them.
It is located on a very fashionable area on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
We met with 6-8 people, some familiar faces and others who chose this event from the bookstore's Calendar of Events, in a comfortable sitting area near the back of the store.
To start, Kelly read us the introduction to her new book called Journey to the Heart of the Maker published by Gateways Books.
Our visit was punctuated by the timely ringing of Tibetan bells (voices from nearby dimensions), when a random customer would come and bring the bells together.
Kelly's book presentation was revealing, insightful and the space had a great depth.
She told us of her families' Flamenco lineage and her earliest flair for spontaneously animating gargoyles.
It was specific while leaving room for the alternate models of the spiritual path.
Her work with the Dear Oobe show and Prayer Absolute are, well . . . this is too good; you gotta read the book.
She did tell us of her meeting with E.J. and some of her own spiritual experience.
She was very candid, open, honest and truthful with us.
Big thanks to her for leaving us some footprints on the Path!
And, to you Jewel for news of the event.