(P)1992 by Blackstone Audiobooks
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
GK Chesterton’s biography of St Francis is one of the classic biographies of St Francis and Chesterton attributed his work on this book to his eventual conversion to Catholicism. Both of which were good reasons to read (listen) to this book.
I have started paying attention to the audiobook discounts when you first purchase kindle books. So I picked this book up at the beginning of July when I had some promotional credits at Audible. I might have been better served by reading the kindle version instead of listening to the audio version. Chesterton is not the easiest author to read. He has a lot of asides and his fairly conversational writing style takes some getting used to. That and he is brilliant.
Chesterton’s biography of St Francis is not a traditional biography. Instead it is partially a biography and partially an exploration of the state of the Catholic church at the time of Francis and how Francis changed the Catholic church during his time and after. So if you are looking for a traditional biography, you will probably be disappointed by this book. It has biographical details, but not many of them.
Honestly my main reluctance to read this was that I assumed it would be hagiography and I really do not like reading hagiography. I want to read about the person, but I assume that the reality of the person is important (not just how great they are.) Chesterton is not writing hagiography. He is fascinated by Francis, but that does not stop him from see Francis as a real person.
Chesterton does, however, defend the traditional views of Francis, including the miracles. He does this not so much because of his superior evidence, but to counter the idea that miracles must be made up because we are in a more modern world that does not believe in miracles.
If this is your first view of either Francis or Chesterton, you might want to at least read the wikipedia page first to give yourself a little background going in.
(Originally published on my blog, Bookwi.se)
This book was disappointing in that Chesterton spent more time in self apology, and justifying his remarks than in describing Staint Francis. In trying to be intellectually authentic the book misses the warmth and humanity of the Saint.
Multi-service veteran, Vietnam era veteran, Iraqi freedom veteran. Work at maximum security state prison.
The narrator was boring, the story was boring. I thought it would have been exciting, I've read other stories about Saint Francis, but this one did not do him justice.
No, I think if the narrator would have been someone esle, I might have been able to stand to listen longer, other books that I've gotten are very good.
No, absolutely not, no way, no how!!!!
Not really, said it all.
The author spent well over an hour before he even mentioned St. Francis. I am grateful that my IPOD had a "faster" mode, otherwise I would have never finished listening.
Next time I will read the reviews more carefully.
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