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The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (1908)

by G.K. Chesterton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,9951681,299 (3.77)232
Set in London in the early 1900s, this metaphysical thriller follows undercover policeman Gabriel Syme, who, in partnership with a Scotland Yard task force, attempts to take down underground anarchists. Syme encounters Lucian Gregory, a passionate anarchist who eventually takes him to a secret meeting place. Once there, Syme begins to influence the anarchists and is eventually elected to the central council. In his attempts to destroy the council of anarchists from the inside, he starts to uncover more secrets, each more mysterious than the last. Thick with Christian symbolism, this classic G. K. Chesterton novel will have readers on the edge of their seat until the final secrets are revealed.… (more)
  1. 30
    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. 31
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (flissp)
  3. 20
    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.
  4. 20
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (shelfoflisa)
  5. 20
    The Magus by John Fowles (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Secret societies whose aims you are made to reassess.
  6. 10
    Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (ben_a)
  7. 10
    The Chronicles of Amber, Volume I: Nine Princes in Amber, 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.
  8. 22
    Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (sirparsifal)
  9. 00
    The Journey to the East by Hermann Hesse (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Concerning a mysterious and allegorical secret society
  10. 00
    The Deadly Percheron by John Franklin Bardin (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  11. 00
    The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (KayCliff)
  12. 00
    Many Dimensions by Charles Williams (anjenue)
    anjenue: another metaphysical thriller with madcap elements
  13. 03
    CliffsNotes on Joyce's Ulysses by Edward A. Kopper (sirparsifal)
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» See also 232 mentions

English (147)  Spanish (7)  Catalan (4)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (2)  Slovak (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (166)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
Terrific book. Whimsical, satirical, philosophical and just a little dark. To be honest, I was expecting it to be considerably darker, but Chesterton mixes up humour and philosophy so well it still retains a serious edge. It clearly hales from a time when anarchistic nihilism was the bête du jour - nowadays materialism seems to have beaten back the anarchists, and religious/political fundamentalism has taken its place (with probably a touch less whimsy).

Perhaps bizarrely, it reminded me a bit of The Magus. But much shorter, much more fun, and better written and - as a result of all those - more rewarding. ( )
1 vote thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Two thirds shorter and my dominant thought might have been "inspired" rather than "why am I suffering through this?" ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
I didn't really like it. Apart from the very first revelation, I guessed every single one of them from the very first clue, which did not make me feel like Hercule Poirot but instead made me feel cheated. Basically I thought this was going to be a real thriller, perhaps even a nightmare, but instead it was a a clunky dud. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
This book (100 years old) has been called a metaphysical thriller, and now I see why. It's got a sort of whimsical grace, goofy bomb-throwing anarchists, fearful hallucinogenic writing, and lots of laugh-out-loud moments. I see the Prisoner in it, maybe some C.S. Lewis. It's told with a straight face, but sneaking occasional winks, and giving you farce while keeping a quiet honesty and reality. Totally worth reading. ( )
  grahzny | Jul 17, 2023 |
Good adventure / spy novel until the end where it gets all metaphorical or something. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
G.K. Chestertonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amis, KingsleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beaumont, MatthewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, LinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Covell, WalterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallardo, GervasioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gentleman, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lethem, JonathanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muniz, Alicia BleibergTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reyes, AlfonsoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Romberg, HansCover designersecondary 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.
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"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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Set in London in the early 1900s, this metaphysical thriller follows undercover policeman Gabriel Syme, who, in partnership with a Scotland Yard task force, attempts to take down underground anarchists. Syme encounters Lucian Gregory, a passionate anarchist who eventually takes him to a secret meeting place. Once there, Syme begins to influence the anarchists and is eventually elected to the central council. In his attempts to destroy the council of anarchists from the inside, he starts to uncover more secrets, each more mysterious than the last. Thick with Christian symbolism, this classic G. K. Chesterton novel will have readers on the edge of their seat until the final secrets are revealed.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141031255, 0141191465, 0141199776

 

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