Thursday, 25 February 2010

Cannonball Read 12: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

I am aware I have not posted in a rather long time. The reasons are not particularly interesting. I do have several reviews in note-form scattered around the place that I've neglected to type up. I was inspired the other day, however, as I conversed with a friend. He told me that he enjoyed reading my reviews and noticed I hadn't updated in a while. Then he said "Shame on you". Shame? SHAME? So I am here now, head lowered, bottom lip quivering, hoping that The Internet can forgive me. Also, I would like to dedicate this angry little review to you, B.V. Keep it Scandinavian, homie.

There are two basic points I would like to convey in the following review. The first is that G.K Chesterton is a fantastic writer. The second is that I hated this book. It's a deep, seething and maniacal hatred that I will carry to my grave.

The Man Who Was Thursday begins as a spy novel set in turn-of-the-century London. Gabriel Syme, a member of a secret anti-anarchist task force, infiltrates the Central Council of Anarchists with the intention of thwarting their plans of destruction and general mayhem.(Chesterton's anarchists would more accurately be described as nihilists) Consisting of seven men, each member of the council is named after a day of the week. Syme is elected as Thursday and attends his first meeting where he develops a bizarre admiration - as well as fear - of the council's leader, Sunday.

Though it's opening is straightforward and strongly written the novel becomes increasingly predictable and repetitive as it progresses. Midway through the reader is left to speculate if Chesterton has, in fact, written a farce. The reader hangs on, expecting there will be a payoff. Spoiler alert: there is not. The conclusion is a baffling mess of pretentious religious symbolism.

The novel was recommended to me by a friend who asserted that, despite his issues with the narrative, the writing was strong enough to carry him through. Well, the writing carried me through the first half. Frustration, blind rage and a three hour layover in Oslo carried me through the second.

So, as it may have already been made obvious, The Man That Was Thursday left a bad taste in my mouth. Despite my blatant hatred of the book, however, I would be interested in reading more of Chesterton's work. Someday. Maybe.

39 comments:

  1. 從人生中拿走友誼,猶如從生活中移走陽光........................................

    ReplyDelete
  2. 樂觀進取,勇往直前,持之以恒,是克服困難的妙方。......................................................

    ReplyDelete
  3. 若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。........................................

    ReplyDelete
  4. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  5. 向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  6. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  7. Judge not a book by its cover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  8. 失去金錢的人,失去很多;失去朋友的人,失去更多;失去信心的人,失去所有。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  9. 成功多屬於那些很快做出決定,卻又不輕易變更的人。而失敗也經常屬於那些很難做出決定,卻又經常變更的人.................................................... ............

    ReplyDelete