A Fright For Sore Eyes
As of January, I've started to read The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien. I had heard of it a while back, but was unable to find any copies for a nice price online. More recently, it was mentioned in passing on a podcast to which I was listening (a podcast about LOST, of all things). So I searched for it online again and found a nice, cheapish copy.
When the reviews of this book said that it was whacky and out there, I believed them. And so far, I love it. I'm not very far into it at all, even. I'll give you a synopsis of what has happened so far (Oh and if you read this, don't read the foreword. It spoils the ending!):
A young man who grew up on a farm inherited the property from his parents. While he is away studying, a worker tends the land in his stead. Upon his return, the young man and the worker become best of friends. The worker eventually coerces (through means of poverty and anger) the young man to kill a rich hermit and steal his money. They do so, and the worker hides the money, and for a good while the young man sticks close to the worker to make sure he doesn't skip out with the money. Eventually, the worker says it is safe to withdraw the stash from its hiding place and lets the young man do it.
The money is hidden in the victim's empty, dark house, under the floorboards. Upon reaching a the hole for the cash box, a cough is heard. Everything freezes. A lamp lights up, revealing the dead old man sitting in a chair not four yards away, staring at him with "terrible eyes". After and endless silence, the young man strikes up a conversation with the "dead" man, in hopes of staying sane. The deceased, talking through bandages, answers in riddles.
And that's pretty much where I am. What the heck, right? The scene towards the end of my synopsis is what is pictured above. Really, it was one of the creepiest bits of literature I have ever read. But it is downright interesting too! The conversation they are having is hypnotizing!!! I'm excited to see what transpires next...