Friday, September 02, 2011

Forgotten Books: The Man Who Was Thursday -- G. K. Chesterton

This is another one of those books that's not really forgotten. It's just neglected, I think, by crime-fiction readers. It's hard to describe, much less summarize. And, yes, the cover of the edition pictured here does have something to do with the plot.

The story opens with a discussion between Gregory and Syme, who discuss the nature of poetry. Gregory is an anarchist, and he believes that poetry is about revolt, whereas Syme insists that order is all and that the railroad timetable is man's most poetical creation. Later Gregory invites Syme for a drink. The table they're sitting at suddenly descends underground to the secret meeting place of an anarchist council, and then it gets weird. Each member of the council has taken the name of a day of the week, hence the book's title (which I love, by the way). It turns out that Syme is a policeman, and he gets himself elected head of the council.

Lots of action follows: sword fights, balloon escapes, chases on horseback, elephantback escapes, and more. What's revealed about the council and its members is best not mentioned here. You need to find that out for yourself.

Christian allegory, metaphysics, adventure, fantasy, action, and more. This book has it all. Not for everybody, I suspect, but check it out and give it a chance.

5 comments:

George said...

G. K. Chesterton wrote plenty of interesting works, but THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY may be the best of them all. Excellent choice!

Scott Parker said...

I have always wanted to read this book and, in fact, have it here at the house, hard copy as well as electronic. Was first introduced to GKC via C. S. Lewis. Maybe now's the time to read "Thursday..."

Todd Mason said...

The anti-anarchist tendency in FFB continues! At least this is a more clever (and more in keeping with its author's character) piece of work than a certain pseudonymous Westlake...

Dianna Shipman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bud said...

GKC always seems to hover on the edge of being forgotten, but he never quite is. He's too good!