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The Man Who Was Thursday

[The Man Who Was Thursday] The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare
by G.K. Chesterton
Published in 1908
142 pages
Amazon.co.uk: hardcover, paperback, large print
Amazon.ca: hardcover, paperback, large print, audiobook
Amazon.com: hardcover, paperback, large print, audiobook
ChristianBook.com: paperback
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

A nightmare about anarchy in a world without God. This is Chesterton's best-known fiction work other than his Father Brown detective stories, and with good reason. If you love paradoxes, this book is for you!

Other Comments:

First published in 1908, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare appears at first to be about the threat of anarchism to turn-of-the-century civilisation. Chesterton himself insisted, in an interview published shortly before his death, that people could not understand the book because they tend to ignore the last two words of the title. Some people attempt to describe the story as "surreal" or "fantasy." I find it quite delightfully silly: an extended exploration of what can happen when we react to our own expectations rather than to reality. Surely it is enough of a warning that we are in for a romp when the adventure begins with Gabriel Syme, the protagonist, declaring, "Your offer... is far too idiotic to be declined." (p. 9.)

I dare not relate the plot to you, because chances are that you will have guessed the twist at the ending before the book is half finished. Chesterton is playing with his readers, but we know it, and it's great fun going along for the ride. Like The Napoleon of Notting Hill, I expect that this book might well have had a great deal of appeal to the Monty Python bunch. In any case, do not let those who try to mystify this work put you off. Before all else, it's great fun.Greg Slade

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