Department ofEnglish

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Faculty Book Recommendations from the English Department: Andrew Garavel

Here is the second of the English Department's Spring quarter book recommendations by faculty, this one courtesy of Irish literature specialist Andy Garavel SJ:

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien (1967)

Imagine an episode of The Twilight Zone written by James Joyce, Stephen King, Stephen Hawking, and Monty Python. Or just read the opening sentence: “Not everybody knows how I killed old Philip Mathers, smashing his jaw in with my spade; but first it is better to speak of my friendship with John Divney because it was he who first knocked old Mathers down by giving him a great blow in the neck with a special bicycle-pump which he manufactured himself out of a hollow iron bar.” (No “best of times, worst of times” dithering around, eh?) Set in a small Irish town -- which might be part of a parallel dimension – where something weird is happening to all the bicycles and the police maintain mysteries rather than solve them, this is the rare book that’s both funny and frightening.

[A scene from the novel:]