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The Ball and the Cross  By  cover art

The Ball and the Cross

By: G. K. Chesterton
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
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Publisher's Summary

Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic. James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Lowlander and a devout but naïve atheist. The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus.

When MacIan challenges Turnbull to a duel to the death, Turnbull is overjoyed. For 20 years, no one paid the slightest attention to his Bible bashing. Now at last someone is taking him seriously!

Public Domain (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Ball and the Cross

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Thoughtful and Thrilling

This is an excellent story about two guys who can't seem to kill one another. It is really a blast from the past with some 1905 rhetoric which can startle modern sensibilities, but draws you back in with a real tale of sympathetic characters and complex questions. I was enthralled and often moved by the dramatic storytelling and vivid imagery which pack the pages of the whole thing. The performanfe was top notch, too. Can't recommend this book enough.

9 people found this helpful

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Terrific performance

One of the most entertaining of Chesterton's novels, wonderfully read here. It is a rollicking, hilarious adventure. Highly recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant book

Chesterson is a master of paradox. From the main character not being able to explain why he broke the atheists window for blasphemy against the Virgin Mary when they won't let him talk about Religion. To the people wanting to let the atheist and the catholic fight a duel for a ladies honor but not for their beliefs.

4 people found this helpful

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One of a kind

Any additional comments?

Surprising, clever, funny, and divinely thought provoking. Chesterton saw things about the world that we are still blind to. I highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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I never get tired of this book...

I listen to this a few times a year. The performance is stellar. I wish Gildart Jackson narrated more books...

2 people found this helpful

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A Great Read

Chesterton never disappoints, and the narrator added to the overall appeal of the book. I would highly recommend this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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exceptional

Wow. What a ride. Amazingly read with great skill and entertaining to the maximum. As you would expect from Chesterton, it's a fantastically fun story too.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant Classic

Parable adventure materialist rationalism vs Catholic way of life. Starts as a duel and ends in a madhouse.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

Oscar-level performance by reader. Highly entertaining. Well done. 1000 stars. The best it could’ve been.

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If We Don't Fight About Some Things, We All Lose

Like The Napoleon of Notting Hill and The Man Who Was Thursday, this story is an existentially serious vision wrapped up in a breathtaking adventure. We’re shown where we were headed then (in 1909) and are headed (if not arrived at) now: a Brave New World where the elites make discussing faith – not to mention fighting about it – criminal.

“Marginalization” has become a buzz word of late, but in the case of religion – all religions – it’s been going on for a lot longer than most of us imagine, dampening essential discussions in what Father Richard John Neuhaus used to call “The Public Square”. The stark truth is, some things need to be fought about. Otherwise, we – everyone, atheists included – lose everything.

One reviewer has compared this book to Orwell’s vision, feeling that Chesterton got the jump on him. For me, Chesterton’s rational atheist James Turnbull rather resembles Orwell, a revolutionary who realizes in time the soulless future his longed-for revolution hoped to establish.

Gildart Jackson’s performance here could not be improved upon.