American television series 'Lost' has sparked a new interest in surreal masterpiece 'The Third Policeman' by Irish writer Flann O'Brien.

The book is due to be featured in the third episode of the second series, which airs on RTÉ 2 tonight.

Although the cover only appears on screen for a second, the exposure was enough to sell 10,000 copies of the book in two days after the episode was aired in the US last October.

'Lost' scriptwriter and producer Craig Wright told the Chicago Tribune that O'Brien's novel will be prominently featured in a "key moment" of the episode.

Wright also said anyone familiar with the book will "have a lot more ammunition" in dissecting 'Lost' plotlines. "They will have a lot more to speculate about and - no small thing - they will have read a really great book."

The TV series has been a huge hit worldwide and 471,000 Irish people tuned in to the start of the second series two weeks ago.

'Lost' will screen tonight on RTÉ 2 at 10pm.