- Man Who Was Thursday (Wordsworth Collection) © 1908
- Wordsworth (1995)
- 145 pages
You’ve got to be curious about any book described as a “surreal anarchist fantasy” (Wordsworth edition introduction). I was pleased to find the classic wit of Chesterton on every page.
This book’s paradoxical. Chesterton’s writing is expansive and leisurely, yet the pace of the mystery is breathtaking at times. It’s difficult to find a writer who can make paragraph length blocks of dialogue come alive so effortlessly.
The plot itself is very curious. The story’s about a group of seven anarchists (named after the days of the week), who have been infiltrated by a spy from Scotland Yard. I hesitate to share any more lest I give too much of the plot away. By the last couple chapters, I found myself questioning how Chesterton could possibly bring such a tale a fitting conclusion without being predictable. He exceeded my expectations. I’ll return to that last chapter more than once to let it sink in.
Chesterton’s at his best: relaxing and thrilling, silly and profound. The entire narrative is laced with Christian symbolism that comes to a poignant theological head without sounding preachy. This is a great summer read.