Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Man Who Was Thursday -- Reviewed

I first heard about The Man Who Was Thursday through my book club (see sidebar link for "A Ladies' Book Tea...").

At the time I wasn't particularly interested in the book. I had two reasons -- first, because it was written by G. K. Chesterton. Not that I had anything against Chesterton, it was just that once before I had attempted to read (or rather listen to an audio version of) a book by Chesterton. I couldn't get beyond the first few paragraphs. It was because of this that I had no interest in reading his other works. However, I now realize I was wrong in passing so quick a judgment. Looking back I think the problem I had with the other book was not Chesterton as an author, but the audio book actor. His voice was so emotionless, so dry... so dull...but I digress...

The other reason I was turned off by The Man Who Was Thursday was its subtitle, "A Nightmare". As you will quickly learn about me -- I like action thrillers and I like mysteries, but I HATE horror and I definitely dislike anything along the lines of a nightmare story. I didn't like Frankenstein when I read it and I won't pick up a copy of Dracula.

But The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare was chosen for Book Tea's August meeting so I decided to give it a chance. I started by reading up on the book at Amazon and at once I changed my mind. I knew I had to read it! The plot sounded so intriguing.

The first chapter was a little confusing, but the story quickly picked up and I was hooked. Chesterton's writing style was easy to follow and often made for some excellent sound bites and quotes, which I jotted down in my "Book of Books" (more on that later). In spite of the fact the subtitle calls the book a "Nightmare" I actually found myself smiling and sometimes even laughing at some of the surprisingly comic moments in the book. The end closed up in a way I didn't expect and I found myself going back over the last couple of chapters and rethinking the story, but I still came away glad I read the book.

The Man Who Was Thursday is Chesterton's most popular book and apparently has never been out of print since it was first published in 1908.... Here we are 100 years later with readers picking it up for the first time, no wonder.

I definitely recommend The Man Who Was Thursday. It's a clever little story and a quick read.


Jeanne said...

Sarah, I love it! you are so good at this reviewing thing :), and you never gave away the plot. I am a total slacker and have not even started it yet (my excuse...I'm borrowing Benjamin's copy). I will definitely try to keep up with your amazing reading powers. Jeanne

Calon Lan said...

I'm so glad you gave Chesterton another chance. He can be a tough read at times, but it's worth forging through the not-so-great parts in order to get to the good stuff.