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The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond (1937)

by G. K. Chesterton

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2134101,771 (3.61)2
8 suspenseful tales featuring Chesterton's delightful amateur sleuth, a deceptively "mild little man" who knows thoroughly the ways of the world. "A masterpiece...quintessential Chesterton, with sparkling surface masking frequent emotional depths...amusing, full of surprises, supremely readable." Saturday Review.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
Great but inconsistent. My favorite short story of all time, "Ring of Lovers," is in this book. ( )
  smallllama | Apr 30, 2019 |
I always enjoy reading Chesterton, even if it isn't the best Chesterton. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond brings the paradoxes that Chesterton loves so much to the fore through the titular character of Mr. Pond. Unfortunately Mr. Pond is not as interesting a character at Father Brown or Gabriel Syme or the plethora of other characters that populate GKC's fiction. While the protagonists of Four Faultless Felons also deal in paradoxes, their delivery felt more natural, while Pond's poor communications come off as more blatant mystery setups than what Chesterton usually writes. A few of the mysteries are clever, and even the ones that aren't particularly clever have some good witty lines (for which Chesterton can always be relied upon). On the whole, however, I found that this collection did not match some of his other collections like The Club of Queer Trades or Tales of the Long Bow, not to mention his novel length works of fiction (I cannot recommend The Man Who Was Thursday, Manalive, and The Napoleon of Notting Hill enough). Even The Man Who Knew Too Much had a darker streak to it than most of GKC's work that made it stand out. The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond is comparatively uninteresting. By all means give it a read, but only if you've already finished with most of Chesterton's fiction. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
Chesterton's last work (published after his death) is deeply disappointing, Much of what I love about Chesterton is missing: his love of mystery, his joyful look at the oddity of life, his deft touch of presenting a different point of view has all been superseded by an unpleasant smugness and nasty self righteousness. Mr Pond is a supercilious civil servant who spouts 'paradoxes' and then explains them away with a short tale, most of which I found first annoying and then contrived. Ok so the first couple of tales weren't terrible but the whole tone soon wore me down.

I have never found Chesterton's extreme views a problem before, I think I shall be sticking to his earlier work. ( )
1 vote clfisha | Nov 2, 2009 |
Spoilers follow:

Out of four atheists in the story, two are murderers, one is a villain, and one is a terrorist. Chesterton has a certain flair to his writing, but his attitude to those of differing religious beliefs color his fiction and certainly hurt it for me. ( )
  prosfilaes | Mar 30, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
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La peculiarità della sua conversazione consisteva nel fatto che, nel bel mezzo di un posato susseguirsi di cose sensate, di colpo spuntavano due o tre parole che sembravano semplicemente prive di senso.
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8 suspenseful tales featuring Chesterton's delightful amateur sleuth, a deceptively "mild little man" who knows thoroughly the ways of the world. "A masterpiece...quintessential Chesterton, with sparkling surface masking frequent emotional depths...amusing, full of surprises, supremely readable." — Saturday Review.

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