Fintan O’Toole: The Flann O’Brien guide to understanding Brexit

O’Brien’s The Third Policeman – with its unending, hellish plot – is the Brexit Code

The Third Policeman: the secret key to another long-running drama in which everyone is lost and everything begins to look a lot like hell: Brexit.

The Third Policeman: the secret key to another long-running drama in which everyone is lost and everything begins to look a lot like hell: Brexit.

In 2005, viewers around the world were sucked into a meandering TV drama called Lost, in which it was never quite clear what was going on.

Then the writer let it be known that, in the third episode of the second series, there would be an important clue. The clue was that one of the characters was seen reading Flann O’Brien’s novel The Third Policeman, written in 1940, in which the reader begins to realise what the nameless narrator does not: that he is in hell.

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