This is quite possibly Chesterton's most famous novel. All that G. K. Chesterton's critics labeled him- devotional, impious, confounding, intelligent, humorous, bombastic - he wove into The Man Who Was Thursday. This page-turner sends characters bobbing around a delightfully confusing plot of mythic proportions. The story begins when two poets meet. Gabriel Syme is a poet of law. Lucian Gregory is a poetic anarchist. As the poets protest their respective philosophies, they strike a challenge. In the ruckus that ensues, the Central European Council of Anarchists elects Syme to the post of Thursday, one of their seven chief council positions. Undercover. On the run, Syme meets with Sunday, the head of the council, a man so outrageously mysterious that his antics confound both the law-abiding and the anarchist. Who is lawful? Who is immoral? Such questions are strangely in the presence of Sunday. He is wholly other. He is above the timeless questions of humanity and also somehow behind them.More
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Perfect narration brings a unique novel to life
An almost-forgotten classic of early 20th century fiction, The Man Who Was Thursday captures the frenzy and fears of fin de siècle Europe. It is also a funny, thought-provoking read. To enjoy it, though, you will need to suspend all your judgments of what makes for a good detective novel, a good literary novel, a good comedic novel, or a good historical novel--this novel plays with all these categories and more as it gallops along to its completely unexpected climax.
After listening to this recording I felt that it's also a book that really SHOULD be heard, instead of read silently. Chesterton's delightful use of alliterative language is a joy to listen to, and the voices of the novel's many characters (and they are all, believe me, 'characters') are superbly rendered in this recording by Simon Vance.