Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Source: LibriVox (zipped mp3s or M4B audiobook)
Length: 6 hours
Reader: Zachary Brewster-Geisz

The book: In turn-of-the-century Europe, anarchists held the equivalent position in the public mind as al Qaeda of today. In The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, the law-abiding poet Gabriel Syme becomes entwined in a debate with his anarchist friend Gregory. Through a series of mistakes and bluffing, Syme rather than Gregory becomes elected to a secretive seven-man council of anarchists, each code-named to a day of the week. Thus begins a madding series of double-agents, intrigue and chases to uncover the secret behind the anarchist plots.

Besides being a fiction writer of books like this and the Father Brown mysteries, Chesterton was one of the leading Christian thinkers of his day. The religious allegory in The Man Who Was Thursday is clear from the beginning, but gradually grows more complex. The ending is notoriously confusing; I don't think I fully grasped what was going on in the last act.

Rating: 7 / 10

The reader: Brewer-Geisz is an excellent amateur reader with a young-sounding American voice.  He brings out the wry humor in Chesterton's writing and varies his pacing to keep the action interesting. For the characters' voices, he affects a British accent, which sounds fine to my ears, though I am not in a position to judge the accent accurately. The recording is well-done and clear.

(Entered in Cym Lowell's Book Review Wednesday. Visit the link for more reviews and a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card)

1 comment:

mel u said...

I just read and posted on one of Chesterton's early Father Brown stories-I enjoyed it but I am not sure I am up for one of his theological works at the moment