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The Man Who was Thursday

The Man Who was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
By: (1874-1936)

Two poets in a London park at sunset, debating on the attributes of poetry and whether it's really a metaphor for anarchy. A group that meets in secret, planning to overthrow the world order. Disguises and deceptions, ideals and ideology. A medley of themes and genres makes this a great read for anyone who's a fan of Chesterton and his iconic Father Brown.

The Man Who Was Thursday includes Chesterton's favorite theme of Christianity with touches of delightful humor to enliven the twists and turns that abound throughout the book.

Set in the early part of the twentieth century, the novel's main protagonist, Gabriel Syme is a Scotland Yard detective who's assigned to break the trend of anarchic groups mushrooming all over London. He hides his true identity and takes on the role of a poet. He meets Lucian Gregory, also a poet, and they become friends. One evening, they get into a passionate debate on the true function of poetry and whether it is a symbol of revolution. As the debate rages on, Gregory is incensed and indiscreet enough to confess that he is part of a secret group that espouses anarchy. The group meets in a remote public house in Chiswick on the banks of the Thames and Gregory invites Syme to join them that evening, to prove that he (Gregory) is indeed a true blue anarchist.

At the meeting, Syme discovers that the group of seven are all code named by days of the week. Currently, the slot of Thursday is vacant and Gregory is a strong contender for the post. The rest of the story describes how Syme is drawn into the group and uncovers some of its deepest and most incredible secrets. The final conclusion is typical Chesterton – almost unbelievable and totally unexpected!

Orson Welles, who was one of Chesterton's most devoted fans directed the first radio adaptation of The Man Who was Thursday in 1938. Since then, the book has been adapted for radio readings and a film was also planned based on the book, though it wasn't made. The appeal of the book lies in its extremely readable style, exciting twists and turns of plot, memorable characters and the lyrical descriptions of Edwardian London.

For die-hard Chesterton fans, this would be a great new addition to their list, while those whose good fortune it is to encounter Chesterton for the first time in this novel will certainly enjoy the experience!


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 10 reviews)

Reviewer: - July 11, 2014
Subject: review of Thursday
At first glance this seems to be a fast-paced adventure story with one twist after another. But at the climax you suddenly realize it's something even more. Suburb, thought-provoking book. It's narrated by a great reader.
Reviewer: - April 30, 2014
Subject: Splendid!
Love this book! And the reader does an excellent job!
Reviewer: - March 20, 2014
Subject: Powerful
Excellent, thought provoking book. Fascinating plot turns throughout. Skilled reader. Leads one to think on great themes of life, suffering, God, and eternity.
Reviewer: - February 16, 2014
Good book, but the end is- disappointing.
Reviewer: - February 6, 2014
Subject: Thumbs up
Terrific! Just terrific! Story and narration.
Reviewer: - December 4, 2013
Subject: Surreal
Surreal doesn't begin to describe the latter portion of the book. In another context, I might have thought that the author and Timothy Leary (trite but well-known example) had collaborated after eating copious amounts of blotter acid. Having said that, the last 2 chapters are at once like paintings by Salvador Dali and Rembrandt, one superimposed on the other. After a slow start, this book (with it's outstanding narration) is well worth the listen.
Reviewer: - November 28, 2013
Subject: Review
Brilliant story/author. Well read:)
Reviewer: - July 6, 2013
Subject: Review
Well narrated, an enjoyable listen.
Reviewer: - June 14, 2013
Subject: Review
Zachary is an incredible narrator! Loved the whole story. Highly recommend this book. :0)
Reviewer: - April 17, 2013
Subject: Excellent reading
This story is really well read and the plot kept me interested, although I was a little disappointed with the ending.


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