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The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.…
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The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (original 1908; edition 2008)

by G. K. Chesterton

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4,877122948 (3.81)192
Member:sylviawrigley
Title:The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare
Authors:G. K. Chesterton
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2008), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (Author) (1908)

  1. 20
    The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (rockhopper_penguin)
    rockhopper_penguin: I read 'The Secret Adversary' just after reading 'The Man Who Was Thursday'. At the time, 'The Secret Adversary' seemed like the book you *thought* you were getting for quite a lot of 'The Man Who Was Thursday'. Clever, and a good mystery, but not as good (or weird) as 'The Man Who Was Thursday'.… (more)
  2. 10
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (shelfoflisa)
  3. 10
    The Chronicles of Amber, Volume I (Nine Princes in Amber and The Guns of Avalon) by Roger Zelazny (mulrah)
    mulrah: The twists and turns sometimes fall flat, but the ride is wild in both cases as the protagonist slowly comes to terms with a new "reality." Buckle up.
  4. 21
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (flissp)
  5. 10
    The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G. K. Chesterton (kkunker)
    kkunker: These books have a similar fast paced wild feel to them. I read "Napoleon" while in London, which just made the book seem so much more alive. Both very good books by Chesterton.
  6. 00
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  7. 00
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  8. 00
    Journey to the East by Hermann Hesse (CGlanovsky)
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    Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (sirparsifal)
  10. 03
    CliffsNotes on Joyce's Ulysses by Edward A. Kopper (sirparsifal)
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» See also 192 mentions

English (111)  Spanish (4)  Portuguese (2)  Czech (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All (122)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
I'm not really sure what to make of this surreal and absurd novel. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
Exciting as a detective/mystery story, with a few touches of humor, but the whole allegorical/metaphysical/philosophical/socio-political thing was lost on me.

I feel like a child brought to watch a critically-acclaimed play, and my only take away was that "the bad man was scary" and "the costumes were pretty".

Read for free on Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1695 ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
Unique. And very, very good. While some things are clearly forseeable, the book leaves you puzzling until the end, and after (if you count what Chesterton wrote about it 30 years later). The little notes that appear during the (paper?) chase are hilarious. ("What about Martin Tupper now?" What indeed. ( )
  HerrRau | Jun 4, 2017 |
A fun romp full of anarchists and private police and Chesterton's sometimes-predictable but other times totally laughingly-absurd humour. The plot follows exactly the kind of course I sometimes wish my life would. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Yes, the plot is predictable. But the scenes near the end are so dramatic and dream-like that I feel Sunday could easily slip into The Master and Margarita. Well worth reading for the imagery.
  seabear | Dec 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
The novel increasingly revels in the disorder of dreams. Chesterton's great achievement is to imbue the everyday world with wonder; everything becomes exotic and fantastical. His portrayal of London in particular is an enchanting evocation of the modern metropolis – the city is rendered as a psychedelic wonderland, as both an ocean and a mountain range, as both the depths of hell and the unexplored surface of a foreign planet.
 

» Add other authors (52 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chesterton, G. K.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, KingsleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covell, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallardo, GervasioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gentleman, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lethem, JonathanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muniz, Alicia BleibergTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorn, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Edmund C. Bentley
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The suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset.
Quotations
"can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375757910, Paperback)

In an article published the day before his death, G.K. Chesterton called The Man Who Was Thursday "a very melodramatic sort of moonshine." Set in a phantasmagoric London where policemen are poets and anarchists camouflage themselves as, well, anarchists, his 1907 novel offers up one highly colored enigma after another. If that weren't enough, the author also throws in an elephant chase and a hot-air-balloon pursuit in which the pursuers suffer from "the persistent refusal of the balloon to follow the roads, and the still more persistent refusal of the cabmen to follow the balloon."

But Chesterton is also concerned with more serious questions of honor and truth (and less serious ones, perhaps, of duels and dualism). Our hero is Gabriel Syme, a policeman who cannot reveal that his fellow poet Lucian Gregory is an anarchist. In Chesterton's agile, antic hands, Syme is the virtual embodiment of paradox:

He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else. His father cultivated art and self-realization; his mother went in for simplicity and hygiene. Hence the child, during his tenderer years, was wholly unacquainted with any drink between the extremes of absinthe and cocoa, of both of which he had a healthy dislike.... Being surrounded with every conceivable kind of revolt from infancy, Gabriel had to revolt into something, so he revolted into the only thing left--sanity.
Elected undercover into the Central European Council of anarchists, Syme must avoid discovery and save the world from any bombings in the offing. As Thursday (each anarchist takes the name of a weekday--the only quotidian thing about this fantasia) does his best to undo his new colleagues, the masks multiply. The question then becomes: Do they reveal or conceal? And who, not to mention what, can be believed? As The Man Who Was Thursday proceeds, it becomes a hilarious numbers game with a more serious undertone--what happens if most members of the council actually turn out to be on the side of right? Chesterton's tour de force is a thriller that is best read slowly, so as to savor his highly anarchic take on anarchy. --Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:02 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In a park in London, secret policeman Gabriel Syme strikes up a conversation with an anarchist. Sworn to do his duty, Syme uses his new acquaintance to go undercover in Europe's Central Anarchist Council and infiltrate their deadly mission, even managing to have himself voted to the position of 'Thursday'. When Syme discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, however, he starts to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies. But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has: a man named Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined..… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141031255, 0141191465, 0141199776

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