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The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)

by G. K. Chesterton

Other authors: Martin Gardner (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0671521,259 (3.79)227
Perhaps best-known for his "Father Brown" detective series, G. K. Chesterton was renowned for his wit, rhetorical brilliance, and talent for ingenious paradox. Those qualities fill this funny, fast-paced novel about a club of anarchists in turn-of-the-20th-century London. Ostensibly a story of mystery and espionage, it's also functions as a vehicle for social, religious, and philosophical commentary.… (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. 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.
  3. 20
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (shelfoflisa)
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    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (flissp)
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    The Magus by John Fowles (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Secret societies whose aims you are made to reassess.
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    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. 00
    Many Dimensions by Charles Williams (anjenue)
    anjenue: another metaphysical thriller with madcap elements
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» See also 227 mentions

English (135)  Spanish (5)  Catalan (4)  Portuguese (2)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
An fascinating novel with seemingly endless twists and turns. As the book wore on, so did its strangeness. My intrigue with reading didn't lessen, however. The story unfolded with a protagonist detective, a true champion of order and law, venturing undercover and infiltrating a secret society of anarchists. Soon after, he was elected to the council of days, the secret body of the anarchist movement led by one larger than life (and size) figure named Sunday. The plot develops into a roller coaster ride far beyond a simple undercover crime novel. Chesterton is a master of weaving together wonderful storytelling and thought-provoking allegory. He is a profoundly talented writer.

At the close of the book, I found myself wondering as the protagonist did, what was the point of it all? Chesterton concedes that many initially saw one character, the mastermind ruler of the anarchic and of the order, as a comparison to the Deity. But this was not his intention and cannot be read back into the story. Chesterton himself clarified much in an interview later, saying the book, "was not intended to describe the real world as it was, or as I thought it was, even when my thoughts were considerably less settled than they are now. It was intended to describe the world of wild doubt and despair which the pessimists were generally describing at that date; with just a gleam of hope in some double meaning of the doubt, which even the pessimists felt in some fitful fashion." ( )
  joshcrouse3 | Sep 17, 2021 |
fantasy about anarchy vs. order, still strange after all these years
  ritaer | Aug 26, 2021 |
Meh. Although the book is well written I had a hard time taking "anarchists" as a real threat. I also did not like the christian overtones the book put forth. Overall a decent read but not spectacular like I thought it was going to be. ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
This tale of holy fools was my first taste of Chesterton. At points I was laughing out loud, at other times, it was a bit too preposterous for my taste, and in the end, it left me with something to think about. I can see why Chesterton is a special favorite of one of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner, helping show the way to write in a funny, fantastic way about God and faith. A good read. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
A British novel from the turn of the 20th century. An interesting and somewhat different type of story, which makes a lot more sense if you don't try to rationalize everything, but simply think of the story as a "nightmare". ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chesterton, G. K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amis, KingsleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beaumont, MatthewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, LinIntroductionsecondary 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.
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"can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?"
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Perhaps best-known for his "Father Brown" detective series, G. K. Chesterton was renowned for his wit, rhetorical brilliance, and talent for ingenious paradox. Those qualities fill this funny, fast-paced novel about a club of anarchists in turn-of-the-20th-century London. Ostensibly a story of mystery and espionage, it's also functions as a vehicle for social, religious, and philosophical commentary.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141031255, 0141191465, 0141199776

 

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