©2007 G. K. Chesterton; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
"The Man Who Was Thursday is not quite a political bad dream, nor a metaphysical thriller, nor a cosmic joke in the form of a spy novel, but it has something of all three...it remains the most thrilling book I have ever read." (Kingsley Amis)
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
A clever Christian allegory filled with fantastic dialogue and Chesterton's wonderful inversions and paradoxes. I might not always agree with how Chesterton sees the world, but I think my vision is improved by looking through his literary lens.
If you too find yourself pondering the words behind words, this book may be one you’ll enjoy. It seems hard to admit, but I occasionally enjoy inferring the "thesis" out of a book. I am already enjoying the work again. Unremarkable phrases mysteriously offer subtle clues. Or do they? Such is the enjoyment of a work whose soul is never quite explicit. The work stuns and turns and grows mysterious.
To some, the quixotic nature of the work may be troubling, but few would argue that it fails to capture your attention. The problem, if you indeed see it as one, is the eventual realization that the work is allegorical.
While the allegory may not suit many readers, the work is well written and well read. The sentences seem to possess an unnamed beauty, and the wordplay is engaging.
All of this, to me, is one big recommendation for a work that is not likely to grow stale the moment you’ve finished it.
Some people think this book gets a little odd halfway though. It does, the style of the book changes. Once you've read it all, you may need to re read it with the understanding you've got from the second half. I certainly will.
I got on to Chesterton after seeing his name on various quotes in Neil Gaiman's work, and I was not let down by this story. It is a great weave, and though the final twist could disapoint some I found it put a smile on my face. (but I won't spoil it for you)
"The Man Who Was Thursday"
I only knew GK Chesterton's Father Brown stories before I listened to this. This is a great read. I found it funny (especially with the different voices given to the characters by the narrator) and fast paced. Thoroughly recommended.
"I need hardly say there was a collision."
This is excellent and one of my favourite books. Subtitled A Nightmare, it follows that dream logic in which the rational world is twisted kink by kink until you are running for your life. Surely too some seeds of The Goon Show and Monty Python spring from here. Toby Longworth's reading is a joy, clearly revelling in the comic absurdity, witty lines, and giving terrifying voice to the Man who is Sunday.
"brilliantly written and read, but v strange story"
This starts off so brilliantly, with Chesterton's characters pursuing each other with the all the wit and intelligence that he used for Father Brown. But the last section does drag and becomes very surreal and quasi-religious. I felt very frustrated by the way it ended.
The performance is very good - almost every character is distinctive and consistent and there are no odd pauses or pronunciations.
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