Read the man who was thursday a nightmare by G.K. Chesterton Online


G.K. Chesterton's 1908 masterpiece, The Man Who Was Thursday, is a metaphysical thriller, and a detective story filled with poetry and politics. Gabriel Syme is a poet and a police detective. Lucian Gregory is a poet and a bomb-throwing anarchist. Syme infiltrates a secret meeting of anarchists and becomes 'Thursday', one of the seven members of the Central Anarchist CouncG.K. Chesterton's 1908 masterpiece, The Man Who Was Thursday, is a metaphysical thriller, and a detective story filled with poetry and politics. Gabriel Syme is a poet and a police detective. Lucian Gregory is a poet and a bomb-throwing anarchist. Syme infiltrates a secret meeting of anarchists and becomes 'Thursday', one of the seven members of the Central Anarchist Council. He soon learns, however, that he is not the only one in disguise, and the nightmare begins…...

Title : the man who was thursday a nightmare
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ISBN : 32188232
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 475 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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the man who was thursday a nightmare Reviews

  • Chris
    2019-02-23 22:43

    I lost my backpack thanks to this book.It was years and years ago, probably my first winter in Japan, and I'd picked up this book at Maruzen. I had heard about Chesterton, mainly from the dedication page of Pratchett and Gamian's Good Omens ("The authors would like to join the demon Crowley in dedicating this book to the memory of G.K. Chesterton. A man who knew what was going on.") and the title looked weird enough to be entertaining. So, I was reading the book on the train, as I often do, and I had my backpack on the floor between my feet. When the train got to my station, I stood up, still reading, and walked off.It wasn't until I had to put the book down again to eat that I realized I no longer had my backpack.This was no small problem, either - the bag had a lot of important stuff in it, not the least of which was my Palm Pilot with all my friends' addresses on it. There were also about two dozen Christmas cards in there, along with other various and sundry things. And it was a good bag, too.Long story short (too late), I never got the bag back. The staff at my school, and even one of the students, were kind enough to call the Keihan lost & found a few times to see if anyone had turned it in, but with no luck. And whoever got it didn't do the obvious thing and look at the return address on every single one of those Christmas cards, nooo....Ahem. I'm over it. Really.My point is this: beware the seductive power of this book. Beware the enchantments laid upon it, and the dreamlike web that it weaves. For if you let it, this book will enrapture you, and gods help you if that happens.The story is one that sucks you in almost from the first page, when two passionate poets argue the worth and detriment of society. Should it be torn down, and let chaos reign in the world? Is order the true glory of humanity, the crowning jewel of mankind? Should the existing paradigm by praised or destroyed, and is he who advocates the path of anarchy true to that path?From that moment, that confrontation of poet-philosophers, we are drawn into a dark heart of true anarchy, where no one can be trusted to be who he appears to be. And not even the protagonist himself can be absolutely sure where his path will end.Needless to say, I think this book was awesome on many levels. The whole thing reads like a dream, moving in and out of locales with odd fluidity, and it's honestly hard to put it down. It has a great cast of characters, each one distinct and interesting and worth your attention, and a great ending that, while not making a whole lot of sense, is entirely fitting.What's really interesting is the modern applicability of this story. Its major theme is that of law versus anarchy, and when Chesterton wrote this back one hundred years ago in 1908 the anarchist movement was seen as a real threat. These people were not the angry kids, spray-painting Anarchy signs all over the place and listening to punk rock. The fringe radicals of the Anarchist movement advocated violence. They liked dynamite and struck terror in the hearts of the citizenry, much in the way that terrorists still do today. And like modern terrorists, they were driven by a twisted and dark ideology which placed their own motivations above society. In the world that Chesterton has made, the Law is in a perpetual battle with the forces of chaos, the dark and shadowy enemies who are always out to destroy us.Sound familiar?The hunt for terrorists is a great plot for any writer, and hundreds of them - good and bad - have used this trope as a way of telling a story. Chesterton, however, reached into the heart of that idea and found the uneasy twist that we are not always willing to deal with. He found the Nietzschean paradox about what happens when you battle monsters, and saw that it could very well be true. He has shown us that it is dangerous to act without knowing the truth, even if the truth isn't what you want it to be.Neil and Terry were right - Chesterton knew what was going on. This book is just as relevant today as it was a century ago, even if Chesterton never meant it to be. No matter what the subtitle to the book may be, and no matter how he may have meant it, the book is still valuable to us. Well worth reading.

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2019-03-02 22:41

    "Η Βίβλος διδάσκει να αγαπάμε τον πλησίον μας. Να αγαπάμε και τον εχθρό μας. Πιθανότατα επειδή πρόκειται για τα ίδια άτομα".
G. K. Chesterton. "Ο άνθρωπος που τον έλεγαν Πέμπτη",είναι μια παραβολή αποδόμησης της πραγματικότητας. Μια ιστορία μυθοπλασίας με καυστική ειρωνεία,χιούμορ,έντονους κοινωνικούς σχολιασμούς και ευφυέστατη κριτική αφηρημένων ιδεών και εννοιών. Παράλληλα, το φανταστικό πλαίσιο εξέλιξης,η αγωνιώδης πλοκή,οι συνεχείς ανατροπές,οι μεταφυσικές αναζητήσεις και οι γέφυρες ανάμεσα στα αιώνια δίπολα της ανθρωπότητας μας οδηγούν σε ένα ταξίδι με άγνωστο προορισμό. Ο Τσέστερτον αδιαμφισβήτητα θαυμάσιος αφηγητής με πρωτοποριακές και διορατικές ικανότητες σκέψης, γράφει ένα έργο ξεδιπλώνοντας φιλοσοφικά κάθε αντίθεση που συνάδει χαοτικά και άναρχα με τη ζωή,τον υλικό κόσμο και τις ανύπαρκτες ισορροπίες των εννοιών και των δυνάμεων. Οπλισμένος με μια πένα γεμάτη βιτριόλι,ελίσσεται με άνεση και ευκολία απο την κωμωδία στην τραγωδία γράφοντας με απλό και κατανοητό τρόπο μια πολυσύνθετα αλληγορική ιστορία όπου τίποτα δεν είναι αυτό που φαίνεται. Οικοδομεί με λογοτεχνική πρωτοτυπία το οικοδόμημα του κόσμου χτίζοντας γέφυρες ισορροπίας ανάμεσα στο "είναι"και ότι διατηρεί το "είναι". Ανάμεσα στην "τάξη"και τον "κόσμο", σε ότι οδηγεί απο την"αλήθεια" στην "επιστήμη" και στην αρχή που πηγάζει απο το "ον" και τη "γνώση". (Πλάτωνας). Έτσι,φτάνουμε στην ταύτισηαναρχικών-αταξίας-καταστροφής και αστυνομικών-ασφάλειας-τάξης. Νόμος και παρανομία, καλό και κακό,δραματικό και γελοίο, άσπρο και μαύρο. Όλα δυο όψεις. Όλα πορεύονται άναρχα και μοιραία,ενώ έχει χαθεί κάθε ισορροπία και επικρατεί αδυναμία κατανόησης της αλήθειας,της ανθρωπιάς,της οικειότητας,της αγάπης,του ενθουσιασμού και του διττού ρόλου που μοιραία γεννιέται με κάθε ύπαρξη.Η ουσία είναι να καταλάβουμε πως πρέπει να κοιτάμε και τις δυο πλευρές σε κάθε "Είναι" σε κάθε "αγαθό", ώστε να ερμηνεύσουμε τη φύση μας και να κατανοήσουμε τον εαυτό μας μέσω των άλλων εύκολα και απλά. Να γεφυρώσουμε όλα τα άκρα...«Μπορείς να πιεις απο το ποτήρι που ήπια εγώ;»Ένα βιβλίο που μπορεί να ερμηνευτεί με άπειρους συνδυασμούς τρόπων..Καλή ανάγνωση!!Πολλούς ασπασμούς!

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-03-02 21:17

    They say that LSD was first synthesisterised in 1938, so it couldn't be that. But opium was imbibed in British society as we know from Thomas de Quincy up to Sherlock Holmes, so I'm going with opium.This strange novel is a phantasmagoria which begins as a surrealistic spoof of Boy's-Own detective adventures in which our hero infiltrates the central council of the evil anarchists who are bent on destroying human society. Gathering more absurd elements (elephant chases through central London, medieval dance raves), it ends up as some kind of incoherent religious parable. The only sense I could make of it was that the message is Hindu - all of the world is divine, all of the world is God, all of the world is God dancing joyously with herself. That's about it, if anyone can nail it down more than that, I'm all ears.As I read this, two things struck me, aside from thinking GK Chesterton's cocoa had been spiked with acid - I thought of an Arthur Penn movie from 1966 called The Chase, which begins conventionally and gets weirder and wilder as it progresses - must see that one again. And I thought that I've never come across so many beards in a single novel - maybe GK was a male facial hair fetishist - every character, and they're ALL men, has their beard or lack of beard carefully noted, so many beards there are that each time I opened my copy I thought I heard sociologists singing folk songs.In one word : bonkers.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-03-11 20:32

    The Man Who Was Thursday reads like P.G. Wodehouse writing from a Phillip K. Dick plot while on a Nyquil bender. It begins with two poets arguing in the park about whether poetry is more akin to law or anarchy. It turns out that the poet espousing anarchy is actually a member of an anarchist soceity and takes Syme, the other poet, to their meeting place to prove it after a vow of secrecy. Syme is actually a member of an anti-anarchy branch of Scotland Yard and usurps Gregory's spot as the new Thursday in the Council.Gabriel Symes tells the story of his own recruitment into Scotland Yard by a philosopher policeman and goes on to infiltrate the Council of Days, each one taking the name of a day of the week.None of the Council members are what they seemed at first glance. About halfway through, I was convinced none of them were actually anarchists.I'm a little torn between whether I like this better than The Napoleon of Notting Hill. They probably really shouldn't be compared since they're different kinds of books.

  • Praj
    2019-03-19 20:17

    ‘Humanity crushed once again’. ‘50 dead, 120 injured’. ‘Grave face of terror strikes again’. Familiar headlines scream through the pages of the newspapers each time a bomb goes off annihilating blameless lives. Through teeth gritting resilience, public outcry resonates through the deafened ears of failed intelligence and faith in the state’s law and order hangs by a thin string. As the weeks pass by rapid sketches of the alleged bombers, email links, forensic reports, collected evidence from the attacked ground and pictures of rehabilitating victims are splashed across the dailies. If by any chance the investigation comes through, anonymous visages covered with black rags are photographed outside the courtroom, readied for trial procedures, which may go on for months, maybe even years. As the days go by, life returns to normalcy (yes! It is a tricky word); everything is forgotten and the news fade until once again “humanity is crushed” by another dastardly attack. The analytical carnival starts once again. This is the time I dearly wish we had ‘philosophical policemen’ just like Chesterton describes in his book. Policemen- (officers of law), who would discover the book of sonnets and verses from where the crimes will be committed; those that recognize the intricate web of intellectual crimes. The derivation of dreadful thoughts- the human mind, so malicious and calculating camouflaged within an affluent, composed and erudite exterior. It is that very egocentric brainpower which churns out sadistic alterations from harmless verses and then picks vulnerable actors to craft that design into realism.“Evil philosopher is not trying to alter things but to annihilate them”.This book is more than a mere plot of undercover detectives and their clandestine exploration of the Secret anarchist Councilmen. Chesterton pens that a small time criminal is more of a good person. His aim is to eradicated only a certain obstacle and not annihilate the edifice. What caught my eye in one of the chapters was the elucidation of stereotyping poverty to rebellious festering. “You’ve got that eternal idiotic ides that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats are always anarchists; as you can see from the baron’s wars”.When a bomber or an active terrorist is caught, he mostly turns out to be from an impoverished background, where his ravenous mind and mislaid faith is manipulated to find refuge in an illusionary godly abode. These are mere actors for crying out loud, chosen by the scheming selfish elements who are coward enough to remain behind the backstage curtains. The affluent as elucidated in this narration are the ones to be feared. They have an abundance of monetary resources, have sheltering capacity in far away lands, if need be and have a mind that concocts the unexpected. Where do you think the enormous funds come for fertilizing terror? I do not want elucidate detailed reports of various pathways of monetary funds wired to definite cults or “charitable” institutions that ultimately fund the immoral actions. But, the currency sure is not a bequest from the poor or some excise complements from our paychecks. The respective courtesy comes from those societal fundamentals that remain unscathed or unfazed by decree. Who do you suppose manages the advanced scientific technologies in various bombing devices? The knowledgeable elite, isn’t it? The erudite or should I say the crème de la crème of religious preachers who instead of spreading peace and equality manipulates vulnerable populace digging their raw wounds every time through words that revolt in their bleeding wounds? I could go on and on, as it angers me to see such naivety among the elements of law and order or purposefully turning a blind eye on the so-called modernists who may be responsible in concocting the ongoing mayhem of lawlessness. Why couldn’t there be some ‘philosophical policemen’ here in India or any place that incessantly plays the role of a powerless victim?Chapter 4- The Tale of the Detective is the deciding chapter that outlines infinitesimal details of who Gabriel Syme really is. Syme sneaks his way into a clandestine council of seven men, each named after a day of the week. Syme becomes the inevitable Thursday though a pact he made with Lucian Gregory ,a poet and a true anarchist. Fear catches with Syme as his path deepens into the sinister world of the other six council men; the President being the most feared of all. Chesterton throws a light on various aspects of fear that thrives within and outside us. We rebel against the only side that corrupts us. What makes a mutineer and destroy the very notion of survival? We try and run from fear and pain, until one eventually catches up and makes us susceptible to uncouth rudiments that shelter our mental nakedness. It is the most treacherous survival, if every time we need proof of familiarity to feel safe. When fear caught up with Syme suffocating his senses, he would feel protected only if a blue card ( a source of identification given to every policemen in England) was shown to him. How vulnerable was Syme to live in a world of treachery and deceit? Makes me think of all the trepidation we feel every time we walk outside our homes or travel; the security checks, the sense of familiarity that we seek in bloodcurdling situations, the proof of safety that we search or reveal; spins a web of utter vulnerability that looms within the safest corners of our thoughts. The Man Who Was Thursday is a treasure that needs to be dug up by reading between the lines of a puzzling narrative to know what Chesterton is really saying.“Revolt in its abstract can be revolting. It is like vomiting.”Lastly, if everything leads to God and when nature if dissected reveals the face of God, then should I assume that evil is illusionary? Is malevolence the creation of couple menacing minds? If God means endurance then why is such mutinous extermination carried in God’s name after all?

  • Lyn
    2019-03-16 22:21

    What…?What the hell did I just read?Anarchists and poets. That part was deliciously, rebelliously fun to read. No doubt this is a novel idea and Chesterton’s imagination is superb. The first 30-40 pages were awesome and I thought this could be my next 5 star rating. As I began to read this book enthralled; I found myself smiling frequently, laughing often, and being thoroughly impressed.Then I found myself lost in an absurdist, magical realism murky realm of steam punk whatthehell???And then the ending … a steaming hot cup of damnedifIknowwhatthehellhewasgettingatsomekindofChristianallegory.Chesterton’s mastery of the English language, his rare skill at irony and his insidious ability to turn a phrase are on shining display in this 1908 publication. There are likely English professors out there who will say this was the best thing since macaroni and cheese.But not me.

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2019-03-05 21:37

    2★Loved the language and loved the beginning. It’s like a mad Monty Python story, but it lost me half way through. And to be fair, the Python crew, Terry Pratchett and others may well have been weaned on tales from Chesterton, so perhaps he should get more credit.The main character, Syme, is a detective who is invited to a secret meeting of anarchists who are preparing to overthrow governments using bombs. He promises Gregory, the man who invited him, not to divulge anything of what he says. Gregory, in turn, promises to keep Syme’s police identity secret. Both are champing at the bit to break their promises, but . . . Syme attends a meeting to find the President is called Sunday, and the other members are named after days of the week, with a convenient vacancy for Thursday. He finds himself elected to be Thursday. Now what? Is he expected to bomb someone? Where? How?He finds their next meeting at a very public restaurant breakfast table where they all openly discuss anarchy and laugh loudly. The theory is that they will be taken for fools and disregarded (which seems to be true).In amongst the kind of boys-own action, there is a lot of musing and pondering and observing and pontificating on Life, some of which I quite enjoyed, especially considering this was written over a hundred years ago.“Most of the women were of the kind vaguely called emancipated, and professed some protest against male supremacy. Yet these new women would always pay to a man the extravagant compliment which no ordinary woman ever pays to him, that of listening while he is talking.”. . . “And it is always the humble man who talks too much; the proud man watches himself too closely.”. . . I quite like this explanation of the power of monogamy:“. . . there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy.”And I’ll leave you with a last one that could explain today’s politics:“The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.”I enjoyed Syme’s gradual uncovering of the secret society, but eventually, the story wore thin. I’m afraid this doesn’t stand up very well against the many years of fantasy and science fiction that have been written since, but I assume it must have been a cracker of a story in its day.

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-02-23 22:39

    Boy, this was really good until it wasn't at all anymore. An intriguing story which suddenly turned into some sort of muddled message about patriotism? Capitalism? Christianity? Anarchy? Communism? The soul of all mankind? How redheads are hot and god is fat? Don't know, don't care.Blah. Skip it.

  • Nancy
    2019-02-26 00:36

    A very original, wonderfully quirky, thought-provoking little book about an English detective who infiltrates a group of anarchists. Part fantasy, part mystery, part philosophical, lots of Christian symbolism that is not apparent until later in the book, but you don't have to be a Christian to enjoy it. There is so much going on here that I will have to reread it at some point.

  • Matthias
    2019-03-16 01:22

    This book is on my favorite shelf but was missing a review, even though I loved it from the very first time I encountered it.* Time to set things straight."The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare" is a unique book, that starts as a spy novel with a very compelling premise of underground anarchists, a mysterious police force and a game of hide-and-seek. Pretty early on there's shimmers of philosophical ramblings that will grow into an overpowering element later in the book. A table in a bar that turns out to be an elevator way down to the anarchists' local headquarters is the beginning of the spy-novel-ride getting bumpier, wilder and certainly stranger. Soon you'll find that nothing is what it seems. The anarchists are mysterious and darkly looming, and you dread being there when their plans and identities are exposed. But it's the mission at hand to unmask these devils and as Gabriel Syme, the protagonist poet-detective, walks closer to his goal his steps become a glide and he slowly seems to lose control over where he's going to. Things get weirder and the tumble down the rabbit hole gains in pace. Elephants give chase to hot-air balloons through English landscapes and snow starts falling on summer days. And so the book itself turns into something that you'd never expect it to, given the way the stage was set. Sure, it says so in the title: "a nightmare", but it's often quite funny and not really scary enough to fall under that category. Anarchists have lost some of their fear-factor since the time this book was written, so I imagine it must have been more of a nightmare to Chesterton's original readership. This book doesn't scare like a nightmare does, not until Sunday gets in the picture, that is. By the end of the book I wasn't quite sure how the hell I got there or even where I was, but I loved the ride. Magical realism, philosophy, humour and a very sharp pen all in one book, and it seems to be well ahead of its time. All this is coming from an author who's mostly known for books on Christian orthodoxy, which in itself seemed somehow surprising, even though Christian philosophy is clearly present, especially towards the end. But it's not dry at all, not at all like how I would have expected someone preaching orthodoxy to deliver his message. Additionally, the idea of having weekdays as codenames somehow strikes an enormous chord with me. It just seems all the more sinister by using these everyday codenames**. I wonder if this is where the Reservoir Dogs got their inspiration from, or if it really was just M&M's and Skittles. All I can say is that the title alone completely hooked me, and I'm glad it did, because the rest of the story reeled me in.* My first encounter with this novel was through a video game, Deus Ex. I'm adding this reference because it introduced me to many books, such as Gravity's Rainbow (Pynchon, which I haven't read yet), Underworld (DeLillo, not read yet either) and The Napoleon of Notting Hill (written by Chesterton as well). The Man Who Was Thursday in particular was presented in this game with small excerpts of dialogues, whose power and intriguing nature even as stand-alone pieces of text completely won me over.** Pun intended

  • Jonathan Terrington
    2019-03-20 03:18

    The Man Who Was Thursday is my first venture into the writing of G.K. Chesterton having discovered the existence of this writer earlier in the year. Of course the first I heard of him was in reference to his Father Brown stories, one volume of which I have on my to read stack. I then heard that his most recognised book is this one, so naturally I organised to read it.The Man Who Was Thursday is truly a classic detective tale, yet it is also an allegory. I didn't realise the book was an allegory when I begun reading until I read up on the book and discovered that fact. However on finishing this book I can clearly see the allegorical nature of this book.What did I love about this book? I loved the whit and humour in the writing. I loved the philosophical asides in the novel and the way in which G.K. Chesterton views humanity. I loved the uniqueness of this book. I may have seen the plot twists way before they happened but I still found everything else wholly unique.The plot of this novel follows one man, a Philosophical Policeman/Poet as he goes undercover to infiltrate a bizarre group of anarchists. These anarchists each have a name of the week as their title and the main protagonist, Gabriel Syme, is given the title of Thursday. However he quickly discovers that it may be harder to hide who he is in the group than he realises as he discovers some surprises about the anarchists themselves. As for the allegory of the book? It seemed to me that G.K. Chesterton was suggesting that Christian believers are undercover agents if you will in the world and must go nearer to the devil at times than they do. What I mean by that is that I know of churches that believed dancing or drinking slightly was an evil and I think G.K. Chesterton is saying that Christian believers need to be less aloof and religious and more down to earth. That is what I saw in this book anyway... I will admit I didn't 'get' the entirety of this book. Maybe study would be needed to fully grasp the hidden complexity of this novel. Do I recommend it for everyone? Not for everyone. I recommend it for those who like an allegory, a mystery or a laugh. I recommend it for those who want to read about the many faces we as humans wear to hide our true identities from the anarchists around us.Postscript:Others have suggested that the book was about people experiencing pain and hurt in order to also experience joy. I may have to re-read this book or those sections. Is it dated? A little, but still highly readable. It's very surreal and crazy, still can't stop thinking about it's ending and what it all means...Post-postscript:I have since reading this days ago discovered more about G.K. Chesterton. He's apparently a noted literary theorist, poet, novelist, short story writer, a friend of George Bernard Shaw, influencer of C.S.Lewis with his apologetics work and witty journalist. He is known as the 'prince of paradox'. I look forward to reading more of his work!

  • Yousra
    2019-03-05 01:26

    ياللغرابة!! :)تناولت هذه الرواية من رف المكتبة وأمسكت بها متكاسلة عن القراءة بسبب تأخر الوقت وكوني قلقة جدا ومصابة بالصداع إلا أنني لا أستطيع النوم... انهيت التعريف بالكاتب ثم بدأت في قراءة الرواية لأفاجأ بأنني لا أستطيع تركها من فرط الإستمتاع :)لا أعلم لماذا تمثل لي كلا من أنور وجدي وفريد شوقي الرائعين، وهي عادة سخيفة، أنا كثيرا ما أشرد عن الرواية بتخيلها وقد تم تمثيلها وغالبا ما أحن للراحلين الرائعين الذين لا أجد للأفلام الحديثة متعة أفلامهماكنت أشاهد كارتون سبونج بوب الذي أكرهه مع أطفالي وزوجي ووجدتني أحدثه بالإنجليزية حتى لا يفهم الأطفال كلامي فأقول: هل تتخيل أنني قد قرأت أن من كتب هذه الحلقات ورسم الشخصيات كان طالب حقوق فاشل وراسب وتحت تأثير المخدرات؟؟!! هذا يفسر كل العته الخاص بهذه الحلقات المقيته :)ورغما عما سبق فالأطفال أحبوا حلقات الكارتون هذا وتابعوه :) وإني لأعتقد أن مؤلف روايتنا هذه كان تحت تأثير عقار الهلوسة :Dلا ... حقا، وبعيدا عن اقتناعي بقصة تعاطي الكاتب لعقار هلوسة فإن الرواية قد تحمل مضامين عدةهل تذكرون الفوضوية وقناع فانديتا الشهير بـ بانديتا ؟؟ :D أين هؤلاء الشباب الآن؟؟ هاه؟؟ أين هم هؤلاء الذين شيطنهم الإعلام وطاردتهم الشرطة وكانوا يتخيلون هم أنفسهم أنهم يخدمون الثورة وقد انتشرت اقنعتهم كصور بروفايلات على الفيسبوك وتويتر ؟؟!! وصار خوف النظام حينها منهم نكتة، ربما هم كما في هذه القصة مجرد "بعبع" مخترع ... وربما يحمل من صفاتهم كل منا شيئا ... هم إما لا وجود لهم فهم ظاهرة برزت على السطح لغرض ما أو هم كامنين في مكان ما لا يستطيعون الظهور إلا أن لهم مطالب وكل المطلوب هو احتوائهم هل رجال الشرطة بارعين؟؟ هل هم مثقفين؟؟ هل يمكن أن يصبحوا هم في يوم من الأيام من يطاردون؟؟!!هل يكره رجال الشرطة المثقفين والفلاسفة ويرونهم خطرا على المجتمع؟؟ما قصتنا مع النظر بدونية لبعض البشر ممن لهم صفات بدنية معينة؟؟!!هل قصد الكاتب أيا مما سبق أم أن عقلي أبى إلا أن أخرج بفكرة ما من وراء هذه الهلوسات؟؟ :) صدقا، أنا لا أعرف إلا أنها كانت رواية ممتعة بحق :)

  • Laura
    2019-02-28 00:28

    The question "What is your favorite book?" has always been impossible for me to answer, but this is the only book I have ever felt comfortable defaulting to. I've read it at least a half a dozen times since I discovered a copy of it in a used bookstore when I was in middle school; I will probably reread it a dozen more in the next ten years. I get something different out of it every time I reread it.The story itself makes no sense, until you come back to the subtitle: A Nightmare. Like a dream, or a nightmare, there is a thread of sense beneath the nonsense, and the mad escapades of the Supreme Anarchist Council are some how more deeply real even in their absurdity. One could call the story a parable, or a fable, but like the costumes worn by the protagonists toward the end of the book, the disguised elements of the story serve only to reveal more of its inner truth.This book is full of great quotes and is one of the finer examples of Chesterton's witty and unique style of storytelling. Like quite a lot of his fiction, it is a story with Christian meaning woven into it; it's not necessary to be a practicing Christian to understand or get something out of the story, but some of the allegory may escape a reader who is unfamiliar with the basics of the book of Genesis. When I finish this book I always feel a little bit bewildered, sort of mentally out of breath. I usually end up reading it in one or two sittings, propelled irresistably toward the fantastic (in the original sense of the word) conclusion.This book defies genre, plot summary, and most attempts at interpretation, so all I can say is that you should read it for yourself, and see what you make of it.

  • Fernando
    2019-03-13 19:46

    Nueva relectura en lo que va del año. Había leído esta novela hace cuatro años atrás y tenía un vago recuerdo de ella. Sólo sabía que se trataba de anarquistas y del peculiar personaje principal, el poeta Gabriel Syme.Realmente me resultó gratamente entretenida. Su acción es constante y yo la considero una verdadera novela de aventuras en donde nada es lo que parece y los constantes giros de los acontecimientos hace que el lector esté atento a lo que pueda llegar a venir.Cada situación desemboca en otra totalmente opuesta y esto hace que la dinámica de la lectura no se detenga. La manera en la que Chesterton maneja los distintos cambios de ritmo es perfecta y es digno de destacar de este gran autor inglés, que fuera uno de los preferidos de Jorge Luis Borges.Syme, es un poeta devenido en detective de la policía que debe infiltrarse dentro de una grupo de anarquistas, todos ellos con una función muy particular, que obedecen al mando de un hombre gigantesco que se hace llamar Domingo. A cada uno de los anarquistas le corresponderá un día de la semana, título un tanto extraño pero que se develará recién en el capítulo final de la novela.Todo lo que Syme deberá descubrir está teñido por un juego de apariencias hasta el punto que nadie es quien parece ser y las sospechas e intrigas harán que el lector divague entre lo que Syme ve o lo que él cree que puedan ser o parecer los distintos personajes del libro.El tema del anarquismo, muy en boga a principios del siglo XX (la novela fue publicada en 1908) es el central y el que maneja todos las peripecias que suceden en la novela. El anarquismo, junto su pariente inmediatamente anterior y cercano, el nihilismo, aglutinó a muchos hombres que a partir de la negación de todo poder sembró el pánico en gran parte de Europa, especialmente en países como Rusia, Irlanda e Inglaterra, tendría su apogeo hasta casi mediados de siglo, en las épocas en donde la dinamita se hacía sentir sin anuncio alguno.Toda la acción, que comienza tranquilamente en una plaza se trasladará a distintas ciudades de Inglaterra y concluirá en una misteriosa mansión en donde finalmente quedarán aclaradas (o tal vez no) las dudas que se le plantean tanto a Gabriel Syme como al lector de esta excelente novela. Difícilmente creo que un lector pueda aburrirse por como están planteados los hechos. Para lograrlo, Chesterton, Syme y todos los anarquistas y detectives se embarcan en una aventura trepidante y entretenida.En un momento de monólogo y reflexión, Syme exclama "La aventura puede ser loca, pero el aventurero debe estar cuerdo."Luego de tantas idas y venidas, corridas y persecuciones, no hay mejor frase para definir qué tipo de novela es "El hombre que fue jueves".

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-02-20 22:37

    This is my first book by G. K. Chesterton (1874-1036) and I am very much impressed. This is one of the classic books included in the 501 Must-Read Books so I bought it three years ago but I only read this now because a good friend wanted to borrow this book.This is a story of a undercover detective called Syme who joins Europe's Central Anarchist Council to infiltrate and fight against the growing anarchist movement. The central council members are named after the days of the week so when Syme joins, he gets the name "Thursday." He however, later finds out that out of the other six members, five are also undercover detectives like him. The only one who isn't is the head of the council called "Sunday." Or so Chesterton made us readers to believe so.Basically a detective novel, this is also partly political thriller, horror, comedy, romance and Christian allegory. I think this beautiful blending of genre worked quite well as it did not leave any of the pages boring and uneventful. Most of the genres you can explicitly recognize while reading for example the comedic flavor is in those scenes involving hot-air balloon chase and a high-speed elephant pursuit towards the end. However, the Christian allegory is something that you have to deduce. For example, the revelations of the true character of the council members is similar to finding out that we are all sinners despite the fact that we project ourselves to always be morally upright and spiritually enlightened. The character of the leader made me think of him as Jesus and his 6 council members are among his 12 disciples. However, these are just my interpretations as I know other readers have their own and I cannot blame them since this multi-genre book is definitely multi-layered despite its brevity and simplicity in style.I will definitely need to read more Chesterton books. Thanks to Berto for bringing the author to my attention.

  • Apatt
    2019-02-28 23:33

    I finished this book on Thursday September 26, 2013. Coincidence? Fortuitous? Ironic? Or just plain irrelevant?I went into this book without any inkling of what it is about . All I know is that it is by G.K. Chesterton, the author of Father Brown the priestly super sleuth. The main reason I decided to read it is that the free Librivox audiobook version comes highly recommended. Librivox audiobooks are all free but the quality is variable, if you want to find which titles are the good ones Google is your friend.From the title alone I assumed that it is 19th century sci-fi or fantasy novel, something akin to H.G. Wells’ books may be. The title The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmarehas a time travelly, timey wimey ring to it, but it is nothing of the kind. The timeline is completely linear and there ia only a single narrative strand. If this sounds like a breeze I have to tell you I am still scratching my head as I write (though I am having a bad hair day today).On the face of it it is a fairly straight forward story of one Gabriel Syme a poet turned policeman who infiltrates a major anarchist group bent on destruction of law and order. Syme uses in oratory skills to join Central Anarchist Council, whose seven members are named after days of the week. The head of the Council is called Sunday, Syme is the eponymous Thursday, replacing a recently diseased council member. During his first meeting with the Council he learns of a plot to assassinate the President of the French Republic in Paris by bombing, he then makes every effort to foil this plot. Initially I thought I was in for some fun 19th century James Bondery; such is not the case. Practically all the characters in this book are not what they seem. Syme is not what he seems, he is a poet/cop disguised as an anarchist, the members of the council are not what they seem, even the villain of the piece Sunday is not what he seems. In fact the novel in its entirety is not what it seems! It is however very readable with some lovely prose and wonderful word play. Passages like this make it all worthwhile: His respectability was spontaneous and sudden, a rebellion against rebellion. He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else. His father cultivated art and self-realisation; his mother went in for simplicity and hygiene. The plot moves along at a fair clip, like a turbo charged hansom cab. The novel ends on a philosophical note which I have not quite figured out yet (ask me next week). The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmareis not so much a nightmare as a weird trip with a sudden WTF ending.I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Zachary Brewster-Geisz for his excellent dramatic professional standard narration of this free audiobookand his kindness in sharing it with the world. What a guy!

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-02-28 01:17

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the labelThis week: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), by GK Chesterton#4 in this essay seriesThe story in a nutshell:Part detective tale, part absurdist comedy, The Man Who Was Thursday tells the story of poet and intellectual Gabriel Syme, living in the bohemian London neighborhood of Saffron Park at the beginning of the 20th century. Ah, but what most people don't know is that Gabriel is an undercover anti-anarchist cop as well, a "philosopher cop" who opposes the actions of blue-collar terrorists purely on ideological grounds. After striking up a friendship with Lucian Gregory, the only other political poet in Saffron Park, the other man lets Gabriel in on his little secret -- that he is actually part of a very serious underground anarchist cell himself, one that hides itself precisely by going around loudly announcing its violent intentions in public, fooling the rest of society into thinking they're a group of harmless cranky eggheads.Through a series of surreal clandestine meetings, then, Gabriel eventually enfolds himself into the group, even convincing them to eventually elect him their cell's leader; this then gets him saddled with the code name "Thursday," matching as it does the code names of the other six cells in their particular terrorist network. Ah, but as the plot thickens and the cloak-and-dagger action increases, both Gabriel and we readers learn something ironic and funny about the whole situation; turns out that there are actually more undercover cops in the anarchist cell than there are actual anarchists, all of them recruited into Scotland Yard by the same shadowy authority figure, and that they've been spending the majority of their time chasing each other instead of the actual criminals.(WARNING: The next paragraph reveals important information about the end of the book.)In fact, by the end of the story we realize that not a single member of the terrorist cell is a terrorist at all; that the entire thing was cooked up by the aforementioned Lucian, all the way down to the mysterious Scotland Yard official who recruited them all, specifically to prove to Gabriel the contention of their very first argument, that he is a "serious" anarchist who shouldn't be underestimated. In what can only be called a bizarre and nonsensical ending, then, the group chases the main leader "Sunday" across the city via elephant, hot-air balloon and other strange transportation, where eventually they are led into the English countryside and a highly symbolic, costume-laden confrontation inside a large private estate. Was it all a dream, when all is said and done? After all, Chesterton did give the book the subtitle "A Nightmare," and for the rest of his career complained about how many people didn't bother to notice.The argument for it being a classic:The biggest argument for this being a classic, I think, is that it's a great example of a small but very important time in Western literary history; the transitionary period between Romanticism and the Modern era, that is, or the years between 1900 and World War I. It was these two decades, historians argue, where such things as abstract poetry were embraced for the first time, dreamlike narratives, modern psychological theories and a lot more; sure, it wasn't until the Jazz Age when such groups as the Dadaists and Surrealists made abstract art really famous, but it was the bold experimenters of the generation before them who really set those events in motion. At the same time, though, fans say that Chesterton's work is a unique creature unto itself, and that this is also a major reason to continue reading and enjoying him; he not only laid the groundwork for a lot of modern complex "weird" literature, his fans argue (for example, Neil Gaiman is a big fan, and even based his Sandman character "Fiddler's Green" on Chesterton himself), but was also a master of smart, black humor, arresting visual images, and the notion of vast secret worlds existing among us in plain sight. And then finally, its fans argue, this book is also a nice record of a period of history becoming more obscure by the day -- the period right before the rise of organized labor, where working conditions had become so bad and with so few legitimate avenues to complain, a whole generation of poor liberal immigrants ended up taking matters into their own hands, creating a wave of domestic violence and public terror that rarely gets talked about in this country anymore. It was an issue that divided this country when it originally occurred; Thursday, its fans argue, captures the zeitgeist of that issue nicely, even if the story itself is a symbolic one that in reality has little to actually do with anarchist terrorists.The argument against:The main argument against this being a classic is one used a lot -- that it is simply too obscure to deserve the label, a historically important and personally entertaining book to be sure but not one that you can legitimately say that all people should read before they die. And indeed, if you look at the long-term reputation Chesterton has earned over the decades, you'll see that the thing which makes him so well-loved in certain circles is the same thing making so few of his books "classics" in the traditional sense; that he was a quirky writer, one who employed a self-satisfied writing style sure to turn a lot of people off, delving into philosophical topics on random whims and sometimes digressing into pure abstraction. I don't think anyone would argue that Chesterton still has a modern audience who will love him, even a hundred years after this book was first published; it's just that this is a niche crowd, just like it was when Chesterton was alive, making Thursday still relevant but not exactly a classic.My verdict:After reading the book now myself, I'm still a bit on the fence about whether it should be considered a classic. On the one hand, its critics are definitely right, that this is an unusual book that requires a certain specific type of sense of humor to really enjoy (think Monty Python), and that its ending devolves into the kind of "Twin Peaks" unexplainable weirdness that makes some people even to this day shrug and throw their hands in the air when it comes to the subject of Modernist literature. But then again, isn't it important that we understand this period of history in order to understand the much more important period that came afterwards? This is why the great transitionary periods of the arts always get short shrift -- that even as they are important for bridging two major periods of human culture together, the works actually made in those interregnums are often clunky and full of basic problems. On the one hand, a book like Thursday can be safely skipped by most general readers, in that its main strength was in laying the groundwork for the mature modern authors who came afterwards; there'd be no James Joyce, after all, without the Chestertons who got a general audience ready for them. On the other hand, though, this arguably then makes Chesterton as historically important a writer as Joyce himself, and certainly books that are easier to understand and contain a lot more sly humor. I guess, then, that I will puss out this week and not declare a general answer at all, but rather two specific ones: that Thursday should be considered a classic by those who read older books more for the historical sense of continuance they provide, but not by those who read older books just for random pleasure. In either case, though, it's definitely a fun and fast little novel that I recommend just for sheer entertainment, especially to those who enjoy other projects that combine fantastical genre elements with witty pessimistic humor.Is it a classic? Kinda

  • Hadrian
    2019-03-12 21:28

    Welp.This started off as a charming and fast-paced mystery story, and went completely fantastical/nuts by the end. Reminded me a bit of the Temptation of Saint Anthony combined with Kafka. As if PKD was plopped down in Victorian England and told to write a story before his drugs kicked in.I've always liked G. K. Chesteron - for distributism, for fighting eugenics, etc. As it turns out, he's also a very charming writer. I'm glad to become more acquainted with him.

  • Hugo
    2019-03-11 03:16

    "Há uma sociedade secreta de anarquistas que nos persegue como se fôssemos lebres. Não estou a falar de um grupo de pobres loucos capazes de atirar aqui ou ali uma bomba, impelidos pela fome ou pela filosofia alemã, mas de uma igreja rica, poderosa e fanática, uma igreja de pessimistas orientais, que considera ter por dever sagrado destruir o género humano como quem destrói um verme." (p. 121)Publicado em 1908, com o subtítulo Um Pesadelo, O Homem Que Era Quinta-Feira apresenta um mundo onde impera a anarquia e a desconfiança. Tem tanto de cómico, como de profético.

  • Jeannette Nikolova
    2019-02-23 20:42

    Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.BEHOLD... "The Man Who Was High". Once you've read this book, you'll know. My boyfriend, with whom I buddy-read it, and I discussed the topic and settled on opium (because it was written on the pre-LSD times)."The Marquis had taken off his nose and turned out to be a detective."That is to say, I did enjoy this book. The rating here is very subjective and it was calculated on the basis of how much I enjoyed it vs. how much it has influenced me and whether it did anything to... I don't know, inspire me or change my life. (That it did not do.)But it was very fun overall. While it was not exactly a "locked-room" mystery per se, it did have a certain quality to it which is reminiscent of those - at least as far as finding the "guy" (ugh, not spoiling you guys is hard) goes.The book starts with a bang! - the reader is lured into the strange, dreamlike atmosphere from the very first chapter and the pace only picks up from there. No episode drags out and all of the action is fast and neat, not at all messy and confusing. However, at one point I think that same thing played a bad joke on the author, because in his attempt to set the ground for the following events in a timely manner, he gave out the biggest plot devices and basically revealed the majority of the events which occur until the end of the book. And since there were only two options for the ending itself, one of them being that Chesterton is doing drugs, the other one being a combination of that and a spoiler which I will not tell, it was easy to guess how the book ends.Nevertheless, it was interesting for me to follow how the events which I had already foreseen would unfold. That's basically why I don't particularly hate spoilers - if I do know what's about to happen, at least I can enjoy seeing how it happens. Which was exactly what happened with The Man Who Was Thursday. And what I feel might also happen to you.In case you want to go deeper with the topic, it's also a very interesting representation of how any type relation between a miscreant, "terrorist" organization and the police/army/agencies might work. We've already seen some fantastic stories of the "spy trying to find the spy trying to find the spy". And at the same time, The Man Who Was Thursday also says a lot about values, beliefs and the looking for the fault in someone else/in yourself duality.If I have not convinced you to read this book yet, consider the fact that it's very short, very strange and immensely funny at moments. If you do read it and do not like it, blame them anarchists.

  • Jason
    2019-02-27 21:30

    A rollicking, jolly good adventure. This bit of classic spy fiction is whimsical, lively, and tad farcical. Our protagonist, Gabriel Syme, is an honorable poet that is nothing if not respectable and respecting of the rule of law. Being such a virtuous specimen, Syme is recruited by law-enforcement and so endeavors to infiltrate an anarchist society and do what he can to protect the values he holds dear against this subversive lot, but doing so gets him into quite the spiraling nightmare situation. A colorful cast of characters are introduced as Syme's saga gains momentum and the danger mounts - the most imposing of these characters is the enigmatic Sunday, the larger than life leader of the anarchists. The only thing we know for sure is that Syme will need all his wits about him in order to have any chance against the forces of destruction and chaos.This is a mystery that has more twists, turns, and chuckles than one could flourish a walking stick at. The pacing and language are first-rate. The whole thing is just plain fun - so, crack an ale (or other relaxing liquid your prefer to imbibe), grab a hammock (or other weight bearing platform[?]/perch[?]), and allow yourself to be sucked down this quite proper English rabbit hole.

  • Seemita
    2019-03-18 02:26

    What a taut thriller! This exquisite metaphysical thriller went with the breakneck speed of a man on a mission, which pretty much was what the story was about. The chapters are so well etched that I forgot at various points that there indeed is a central character (in this case, Syme). But much before I reached the last page, I realized that Chesterton has pulled off a beauty by awarding ALL characters, centre-stage. Not an easy task in a thriller, where the consequences of few people's action far outweigh the rest. Atleast seven characters do the jugglery and my loyalties were shifted more often than less. The revelations are starling and worked as the right catalyst to up the curiosity antenna. The language is laden with dark humor and pristine crystals, much like how one would see in almost everything in life; good and bad co-existing. And the climax is a kind of perfect last nail in the coffin, only for an afterlife to be reveled in again.

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-03-01 21:22

    ”A man’s brain is a bomb,” he cried out, loosening suddenly his strange passion and striking his own skull with violence. “My brain feels like a bomb, night and day. It must expand! It must expand! A man’s brain must expand, if it breaks up the universe.”Gabriel Syme attends a dinner party of his friend, the poet Lucian Gregory. He is there under a pretense of friendship, but his true intention is to find out if his friend can be his entry into joining a group of anarchists. You see, Gabriel Syme ”was not merely a detective who pretended to be a poet; he was really a poet who had become a detective.” There might be some assumptions that the best way to infiltrate an anarchy group is by hanging out in dive bars, brothels, and dens of inequity (my favorite) where the disgruntled, unwashed masses would gather, but Syme is much more suited to mingling with the intellectual set. These men of high ideals might see anarchy in a romantic light and prove to be as dangerous in their naivete as the man, scarred by life, looking to get even with a government for ill treatment or with a society who chose to ignore him. ”The ordinary detective goes to pot-houses to arrest thieves; we go to artistic tea-parties to detect pessimists.The ordinary detective discovers from a ledger or a diary that a crime has been committed. We discover from a book of sonnets that a crime will be committed. We have to trace the origin of those dreadful thoughts that drive men on at last to intellectual fanaticism and intellectual crime.”Syme, purposely, pushes his friend. Traps him really, into feeling a need to prove to Syme that he is a true anarchist and not just a man of radical thought incapable of deed. Syme tries to reassure Gregory’s pretty sister that all will be fine. She feels her brother may have said too much. ”Now, sometimes a man like your brother really finds a thing he does mean. It may be only a half-truth, quarter-truth, tenth-truth; but then he says more than he means---from sheer force of meaning it.”I’d like to know how many times I’ve said something that sounds clever, but logically is full of holes. Someone pops off with some dismissive comment, and the next thing I know, I’m scrambling to defend a thought that was barely a concept to begin with. I’m bailing water out of the boat and trying to patch the bottom at the same time, but I’m too stubborn to just let it go because I know the seed of the idea was something worth defending. So we do wonder if Gregory has any real idea of what true anarchy is or is he just a bored poet who finds the whole idea of belonging to a bomb throwing organization... exciting. In other words, is he a true believer or an annoying, bombastic, romantic moron?For the purposes of our hero Syme, it may not matter. The young man turns out to have a legitimate connection to a group of anarchists who each go by a name of the week. Gregory is intent on becoming Thursday, but Syme convinces the group to add him to their network instead of his friend. He deftly gets what he wants and at the same time puts his friend out of harm's way. Syme is a ”rebel against rebellion” which is really, if truth be known, what I am as well. I don’t want the general social order to be disrupted. Usually the people who die when a bomb is exploded are just normal, hardworking people who are picking up food for dinner, or dancing with some friends, or going to work. Their deaths are meaningless, except for the fact that their death provides a number that will have terrorists giving each other high fives and politicians wringing their hands. So I’m against anarchy because all it does is destabilize society in an attempt to replace a government with a new government that would quickly resemble the old government. Besides bombs, gunfire, rape, murder, and all that screaming tends to disrupt my reading time.G. K. Chesterton was a serious man passionately interested in the occult, theology, and philosophy. Usually when I see those three branches of study all attached to the same individual, I think to myself that this was a person questing to understand the mysteries of life. The interesting thing about this book is you can read it on a multitude of levels and still enjoy the book. You can see it as a metaphysical thriller or as sarcastic political intrigue or as commentary on a society searching for god in all the wrong places. The power in the anarchist group rests with the man Sunday, who intimidates the rest of the members. He is a large man or does he just seem to expand when he needs to make a point. His eyes are blue, blue as the sky. His hair is snow white, like the peaks of the highest mountains. As the plot turns fantastical, he takes on a supernatural aspect that leaves this reader wondering if he was the god, or a god, or just a man touched by god. Of course, it all becomes comical as one after the other, the members of this anarchist society, turn out to be someone other than what they pretended to be. I mentioned philosophy; how about this for something to ponder? “‘Listen to me,’ cried Syme with extraordinary emphasis.’Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front -.’”There is also intrigue. Syme is finally relaxing in the belief that he has lost a man who has been tailing him all over the city. ”When he had been seated for about half a minute, he heard behind him a sort of heavy asthmatic breathing. Turning sharply, he saw rising gradually higher and higher up the omnibus steps a top hat soiled and dripping with snow, and under the shadow of its brim the short-sighted face and shaking shoulders of Professor de Worms.”Chesterton was a large man standing 6’4” and weighing 286 pounds.There is no doubt in my mind that G. K. Chesterton was brilliant, quite possibly a renaissance man in his desire to understand everything. His prose is at times exquisitely glistening with honey dipped poetry. The book can be confusing with twists and turns made more difficult with an overlay of nightmarish fantasy. I wish I’d been able to read it in one sitting so I could keep the reins of the many divergent thoughts firmly held in my hands like a team of prancing Lipizzan horses. This is a fascinating book that deserves to be read more than once, and without a doubt I’d be closer to understanding exactly what Chesterton was intending the more times I read it. My copy of the book will be slid back on the shelf very gently in case there are any bold ideas or a stray piece of dynamite that could roll out on the floor at my feet. Both are equally dangerous, and I’m simply not as fast on my feet as I used to be. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • Duane
    2019-02-24 01:26

    Religious and philosophical messages in novels usually go over my head, or maybe I absorb them sub-consciously, I don't know. This book has them, so they say; most of Chesterton's books do I believe. I read it because it's on Guardian's list of 1,000 books to read before you die. I'll never finish that list, but I use it to browse for interesting books to read. I haven't told you much about the book yet because frankly, I couldn't make much of it. It seems to be a dream the protagonist was having about anarchist in London. As a detective, he infiltrates a group of 7 anarchist, each named for a day of the week. The plot takes a few twists and turns, but was only mildly interesting for me.3 stars

  • Stef Rozitis
    2019-03-02 21:28

    Ok so I didn't hate it, at times I could almost have been said to be enjoying myself in the midst of this pointless, grandiose, waffling, pompous and from my 2015 point of view predictable romp to nowhere (not really a spoiler). I know Chesterton from the Father Brown series and I wasn't expecting him to pass the Bechdel test or anything and I knew to expect weird sort of conservative Christiany-slanted metaphysics and philosophy. It gets two stars because it avoided being as hard-core right wing as it first appeared.So yeah, I wasn't expecting liberated women to be featured as strong characters throughout the story. BUT Mr Chesterton (yes I know he is dead and not on good reads) if you are going to write a world peopled by men- men do things, think things, feel things, interact with other men and the whole world is only men, men, men at least do women the courtesy of not having them in the story at all. The pointless, silent and in Chesterton's own words "unconscious" girl at the beginning and end of the story that Symes gloms at is completely unnecessary.That and the characters talked too much (even more than I do) and were fanciful and grandiose about their bizarre philosophising. I suspect we were meant to relate to Symes. I sort of had a half-sneaky sympathy for the anarchist until he proved he was a "real man" by not tattling (which wasn't very anarchical of him now was it?)The law is a bunch of privileged, self-righteous and cruel (see eg p83 not to mention Symes' stunt to begin with) men apparently. Next

  • JonathanT
    2019-03-05 03:22

    Basically I'm completely and totally confused as to what happened to who and why it happened to whomever it happened to. There was A LOT going on here. I kept getting all the characters confused, except for Syme. And I understood nothing really... haha. It felt more like philosophy than fiction. The subtitle is 'a nightmare', and it fits. This has a very dream-like, surreal quality, but it didn't make much sense to me. Plus it was sort of dark and creepy and yet not at the same time? IDK GUYS I'M TOTALLY LOST THOUGH. I'm sure this was brilliant, but most of it just went right over my head haha. It did have some pretty great twists I think, but many of them just left me even more confused. XD I would give it three stars maybe, but since it had some swearing I'm dropping to two. Don't let my review necessarily deter you though! You might like this if you give it a shot. :D

  • James
    2019-03-14 03:36

    More than one hundred years ago in 1908 Gilbert Keith Chesterton wrote a mysterious fantasy called The Man Who Was Thursday. Sixty years later while I was a student at The University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin I discovered this wonderful book. More recently I attended a stage adaptation by Chicago's New Leaf Theatre Company the satire about a man who finds himself tapped by Scotland Yard to infiltrate a council of anarchists. The unique qualities that fascinated me as a college student remain.Chesterton's satire is part metaphysical and part philosophical. It is a comic fantasy, which he calls on the title page "A Nightmare," and in which free will is symbolized by anarchism. Man's freedom to do wicked things, as Augustine said, is the price we pay for freedom. If our behavior were entirely determined then we would be mere automatons with no more genuine free will than a vacuum cleaner. But we are not automatons. We have a knowledge of good and evil and a freedom to choose, within limits, of course, between the two. Somehow our choices are not totally determined, yet somehow they also are not random, as if decisions were made by shaking tiny dice inside our skull. This is the dark, impenetrable paradox of will and consciousness. "I see everything," Gabriel Syme shouts in the book's last chapter. "Why does each thing on the earth war against each other thing? … So that each thing that obeys law may have the glory and isolation of the anarchist."The philosophical references abound, like this moment that recalls Socrates' myth of the cave in Plato's Republic: “Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front--” The story's mysterious developments and relationships make a creation that fascinates as the policeman from Scotland Yard, Gabriel Syme, poet extraordinaire, battles with "anarchists" in London. The conspiracy he discovers, the highlighted London background, and the way that Chesterton tells the story is both compelling and profound. While the story is at times dreamlike, even nightmarish, it also is filled with humor. A great chase scene closes the book, as if Chesterton were using the Keystone cops to make philosophical points. The novel must have seemed daring in 1908 and it remains fresh and compelling.

  • Julie Davis
    2019-02-28 21:18

    Discussed on SFFaudio podcast, episode 459, with Jesse, Paul, and Bryan.I've meant to read this for some time but, since I find Chesterton's novels the most difficult of his writing, needed a push. That came in the form of upcoming participation in a SSFaudio podcast episode.This grabbed me by the throat and I read it with delight at the humor, intelligence, plot twists, and adventure. At the end I was thrown for a loop and could only agree with Goodreads reviewer Dan Schwent who said, "The Man Who Was Thursday reads like P.G. Wodehouse writing from a Phillip K. Dick plot while on a Nyquil bender. "We were warned. The subtitle does say "A Nightmare."And yet, reader, I loved it.

  • Wastrel
    2019-02-28 01:34

    A unique and joyous book: mystery, adventure, thriller, spy novel, farce, social satire, political satire, religious allegory, philosophical rumination, psychological study, surrealism, absurdism... an exuberrant and devastatingly talented romp that's at the same time a very serious novel. I didn't find it a very emotionally engaging novel - characters who wear masks, a flippant tone, and a brakeneck pace (with countless twists) combine to make it hard to really viscerally care about anything or anyone. There are also basically no women in the entire novel. Some people, inevitably, will find it old-fashioned. In every other way, however, it's hard to think of anything wrong with this book. Some people will hate the ending, which is certainly... unique... but I felt it entirely in keeping with the rest of the book. I think the biggest problem people will have with this book is that it won't be what they expect - anything you expect this book to be, it isn't, whatever you expect. It makes it hard to talk about - I don't want people to think that this is one thing, because it isn't, but at the same time I don't want them to think it's the other, because it isn't that either. Or possibly it's both things at once.I can't really explain very much about the novel in this short assessment. What I can say is that Chesterton is a brilliant writer, both in his elegant prose (which harks back to Wilde and Jerome, forward to Wodehouse and Pratchett) and in his mastery of irony and paradox. The rest of what I can say I've said in my full review over on my blog, HERE.But in lieu of saying much more myself, I'll just remind people of who else thinks you should read this book. Kingsley Amis said that this was the most thrilling book he had ever read. Jorge Luis Borges said that Chesterton was his 'master'. Orson Welles liked it so much he adapted it for radio. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were deeply influenced. Quotations from the book are scattered through the classic computer game, Deus Ex. Good Omens, the collaboration between Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, is dedicated to Chesterton. Historical figures as diverse as Mohandas Gandhi and Michael Collins have been inspired by this book. And it's less than 200 pages, so you've really got no excuse. Go read it.

  • Jaylia3
    2019-02-27 23:22

    I really enjoyed this, but couldn't begin to explain it. It's sort of like an appealing but absurd poem with religious and philosophical undertones.