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The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)

by G. K. Chesterton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9841516,577 (3.78)40
A comical futurist fantasy, first published in 1904, about a tradition-loving suburban London community of the 1980's at war with its modernizing neighbors. 7 illustrations by W. Graham Robertson. New Introduction by Martin Gardner.
  1. 20
    The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare 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.
  2. 00
    Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene (_eskarina)
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» See also 40 mentions

English (14)  Spanish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
hilarious ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
When I was deeply into the process of becoming a “lapsed Catholic,” two of the priests at the University of Notre Dame (where I was a student) recommended two works by Gilbert Keith Chesterton: Heretics and Orthodoxy. While neither was sufficiently compelling to keep me in the fold, I found both books to be stimulating and illuminating. Moreover, Chesterton had a reputation of being witty and clever if not necessarily profound.

Thus I optimistically looked forward to reading the Wordsworth Classics edition of The Napoleon of Notting Hill. Unfortunately, the book itself was quite a disappointment. Part of the problem is that it is quite dated. In addition, it seems to require a detailed understanding of the nuances of different neighborhoods of early 20th century London to understand many of the references, puns, and irony. Finally, the story just isn’t that good.

Perhaps old G.K. can be forgiven since this was his first novel. He got better with time, as his Father Brown novels attest. But this one is a hard slog, recommended only for Ph.D. candidates compelled to master his entire oeuvre.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Sep 13, 2016 |
A rather odd, but amusing novel set in a future London (1984, ironically, 80 years after the novel's publication), where democracy has given way to a cynical system whereby a random individual is chosen to be king for a period of time. The story is full of wry observations, reflecting the author's own views, but does get a bit dull and repetitive. Worth a look. ( )
  john257hopper | Sep 26, 2015 |
I didn't so much enjoy the story as the way Chesterton put words together. I'll try another book by Chesterton based on that, but can't wholeheartedly recommend this one. ( )
  mimerki | Mar 31, 2013 |
I am ambivalent about Chesterton. He has great ideas and his stories begin with promise but somewhere along the line I lose interest. It is as though he promises insights and delivers the obvious. ( )
1 vote denmoir | May 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chesterton, G. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, W. GrahamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Für Hilaire Belloc
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it to the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.
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...tyranny will always rise again like the sun, and injustice will always be as fresh as the flowers of spring.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A comical futurist fantasy, first published in 1904, about a tradition-loving suburban London community of the 1980's at war with its modernizing neighbors. 7 illustrations by W. Graham Robertson. New Introduction by Martin Gardner.

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