Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Man Who was Thursday - G. K. Chesterton

I can't remember where I got the recommendation for this book, I think from a blog.  The blogger raved about it so I thought I'd check it out.

G.K. Chesterton was someone who inspired C.S. Lewis.  He wrote in the early 1900's and was considered witty.  This story is touted as a mystery detective tale.  It starts out clever enough with comical asides and observations on men in high society of London of that time.  It gets weirder the further along it goes.  Turns out its a bit of a parable, and a bit of a philosophical commentary.

A young poet, Syme, meets an anarchist, Gregory and is swept into a secret council of anarchists who intend to destroy the world.  They refer to themselves by the days of the week and Syme becomes "Thursday".  Syme has been secretly recruited by the police to be a detective and infiltrate the council.  As the story unfolds he finds other detectives have been recruited for the same mission.

I kept waiting for some clever twist but the story just sort of unwound into chaos.  I should have paid attention to the sub-title: "A Nightmare".  The reviews I read of it are similar to my impression (What is this...?)  and wildly enthusiastic, drawing all sorts of deeper meaning.  It was more popular with men than women readers.    Not an author I will seek out again unless someone can recommend a reason why.

Published: 1908  Read: March 2014  Genre: Fiction

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