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The Man Who Was Thursday : A Nightmare ()

The Image Top 100 Books of the Century

    Definition is impossible : The Man Who was Thursday is not quite a political bad dream, nor a
    metaphysical thriller, nor a cosmic joke in the form of a spy novel, but it is something of all three.
    What it has most of is a boys' adventure story, which might help to explain my early excitement but
    not so much my continuing devotion.  And what a title!  I will not divulge its meaning here, but I
    cannot resist saying that anybody who at the sight of it does not feel a faint tingle of excitement and
    a breath of wonder is not really a fit person to be reading the book.
        -Kingsley Amis, Introduction to the Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics version

G. K. Chesterton's classic novel manages to provide a thriller that starts out like a Sherlock Holmes adventure and ends like Raiders of the Lost Ark, while at the same time offering a profound contemplation of the existence of evil in the world, the role of free will in the universe, the willingness of God to allow Man to suffer, and various other vexing metaphysical questions.  Both the basic story and the religious philosophy are exciting, and though generations of readers have complained that the final chapter is too difficult to follow, the Annotated version has explanatory essays by Martin Gardner and there's an excellent essay of his available online, which do a great job of explaining just what Chesterton is up to.  It is very much a Christian fantasy (or "Nightmare" to use Chesterton's own subtitle) but can be read with enjoyment by anyone who loves a good adventure yarn and doesn't mind being made to think.


Grade: (A-)


G. K. Chesterton Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: G. K. Chesterton
    -PODCAST: Uncommon Sense (The Society of G. K. Chesterton)
    -PODCAST: CHESTERTON’S EVERLASTING MAN: with Dale Ahlquist (Mark Bauerlein, March 4, 2024, First Things)
    -LECTURE: The Wisdom and Innocence of G. K. Chesterton (Joseph Pearce‘s lecture at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary)
    -TV SERIES: G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense< (     -ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA : "Chesterton, Gilbert "
    -ETEXT : The Man Who Was Thursday :  A Nightmare  By G. K. Chesterton
    -G.K.Chesterton's Works on the Web
    -ESSAY: Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens: David Copperfield  (Gilbert Chesterton)
    -American Chesterton Society
    -G.K. Chesterton: the "Colossal Genius"
    -The G. K. Chesterton Web Page
    -GK Chesterton (Martin Ward)
    -G. K. Chesterton (Miss DeMarco)
    -The Chesterton
    -Gilbert! The Magazine of G.K. Chesterton
    -ARCHIVES : "gilbert chesterton" (NY review of Books)
    -LINKS : Chesterton, G.K. (1874-1936)(Yahoo!)
    -ESSAY: Santa Claus and Science: On imagination, faith, and the natural fancy of children (G. K. Chesterton, December 20, 1935, Commonweal)
    -TRIBUTE: The Grand Old Man of Chestertonia (Joseph Pearce, May 8th, 2024, Imaginative Conservative)
-ESSAY: Chestertonian Realism as the Cure for Modern Insanity: The Modernist denies fundamental truths of reality. To resist it we must embrace a Chestertonian realism. (Kennedy Hall, 5/24/24, Crisis)
    -ESSAY: Flying the Flag for G.K. Chesterton: Chesterton knew that allegiance to the flag comes after the allegiance which already exists for hearth and home. (Steven Tucker, — April 16, 2024, European Conservative)
    -ESSAY: Chesterton and Eugenics: A Man against A Fashion (Thomas Banks, June 14, 2023, Providence)
    -ESSAY: Chesterton’s Fence: A Lesson in Second Order Thinking: A core component of making great decisions is understanding the rationale behind previous decisions. If we don’t understand how we got “here,” we run the risk of making things much worse. (Farnham Street)
    -ESSAY: Misusing Chesterton's Fence (Kevin Corcoran, 12/15/22, EconLib)
    -SUMMARY: The Man Who Was Thursday in a Nutshell (JOSEPH PEARCE, 7/30/22, The Crisis)
    -ESSAY: G.K. Chesterton on the Fundamentals of Liberalism (Daniel Betti, September 27, 2022, AIER)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Back to the future with G.K. Chesterton ( Andrew E. Harrod, Feb 24, 2022, MercatorNet)
    -ESSAY: Why G. K. Chesterton Liked America (M. D. AESCHLIMAN, August 8, 2021, National Review)
    -ESSAY: 100th Anniversary of G.K. Chesterton’s first visit to America (DALE AHLQUIST, CERC)
    -ESSAYS : SCHALL ON CHESTERTON (James V. Schall, S. J., Professor Department of Government  Georgetown University)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Questioning Chesterton’s Own Judgment of “The Man Who Was Thursday” (Joseph Pearce, May 28th, 2020, Imaginative Conservative)
    -REVIEW : The Man Who Was Thursday  Revisiting Chesterton's masterpiece. (Martin Gardner, Books & Culture)
    -REVIEW : of THE FATHER BROWN OMNIBUS. By G.K. Chesterton (Walter Goodman, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of G. K. CHESTERTON. By Michael Ffinch (John Gross, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of G. K. CHESTERTON By Michael Ffinch (Hugh Kenner, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Christian Imagination: G. K. Chesterton on the Arts by Thomas Peters (Eric J. Scheske, Touchstone)
    -REVIEW : of The Christian Imagination: G.K. Chesterton on the Arts by Thomas C. Peters (Jason Boffetti , Crisis)
    -REVIEW: of William Oddie, CHESTERTON AND THE ROMANCE OF ORTHODOXY: The making of GKC 1874–1908 (A.N. Wilson, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of The Dark Side of Chesterton: Gargoyles and Grotesques, by John C. Tibbetts (David Deavel, Imaginative Conservative)
    -REVIEW: of The Sins of G.K. Chesterton by Richard Ingrams (Peter Howarth, London Review of Books)
-REVIEW: of The Political Economy of Distributism by Alexander W. Salter (Clara Piano, Law & Liberty)

    -FILMOGRAPHY : GK Chesterton (Imdb)

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