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The Man Who Was Thursday

A Nightmare
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Man Who Was Thursday
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Random House, Inc.
G. K. Chesterton's surreal masterpiece is a psychological thriller that centers on seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London who call themselves by the names of the days of the week. Chesterton explores the meanings of their disguised identities in what is a fascinating mystery and, ultimately, a spellbinding allegory. As Jonathan Lethem remarks in his Introduction, The real characters are the ideas. Chesterton's nutty agenda is really quite simple: to expose moral relativism and parlor nihilism for the devils he believes them to be. This wouldn't be interesting at all, though, if he didn't also show such passion for giving the devil his due. He animates the forces of chaos and anarchy with every ounce of imaginative verve and rhetorical force in his body.
G. K. Chesterton's surreal masterpiece is a psychological thriller that centers on seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London who call themselves by the names of the days of the week. Chesterton explores the meanings of their disguised identities in what is a fascinating mystery and, ultimately, a spellbinding allegory. As Jonathan Lethem remarks in his Introduction, The real characters are the ideas. Chesterton's nutty agenda is really quite simple: to expose moral relativism and parlor nihilism for the devils he believes them to be. This wouldn't be interesting at all, though, if he didn't also show such passion for giving the devil his due. He animates the forces of chaos and anarchy with every ounce of imaginative verve and rhetorical force in his body.

Baker & Taylor
A clever detective infiltrates the Council of Days, a secret organization of anarchists with seven members, each disguised and named for a day of the week.

Authors: Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith), 1874-1936
Statement of Responsibility: G.K. Chesterton ; introduction by Jonathan Lethem
Title: The man who was Thursday
a nightmare
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2001
Characteristics: xvii, 198 p. ; 21 cm.
Notes: Originally published: 1908
Subject Headings: London (England) Fiction
LCCN: 2001031708
ISBN: 0375757910
Branch Call Number: FIC C
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A surreal psychological thriller that centers on seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London.


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Apr 09, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The snark in this book alone is worth the price of admission. Deadpan delivery, creative Edwardian insults and/or directives. It's great fun to read even if you don't particularly like the tale, though the tale itself is great fun.

A poet meets an anarchist in a park, the poet says the anarchist isn't a real anarchist and is then taken to an underground council of anarchists on the promise that the poet won't tell the police. After eliciting a similar promise from the anarchist, the poet reveals that he is actually a policeman and then proceeds to get himself elected to the council and inherits the title of "Thursday" - all of the council members are called by a day of the week and are led by Sunday.

The whole book is also strangely applicable today and the twist here may not surprise you but it will certainly remind you of a few things you may have read in the news over the past few years.

If you're into espionage, police fiction, philosophy (specifically 'philosopher policemen') you'll love this. It's a quick read so it'll be over before you know if but you'll still be thinking about it long afterwards.

Nov 11, 2012
  • A440Hz rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

a good and funny look at how the times aren't really changing.

May 23, 2012
  • thomasknowlton rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

During July 2012, read & discuss this book online as part of Mystery Summer: http://bit.ly/mysterysummer

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Chesterton, G. K., 1874-1936
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app02 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41