the man who was thursday by g.k. chesterton


"'...Moderate strength is shown in violence, supreme strength in levity. It was like the old speculations - what would happen if an elephant could leap up in the sky like a grasshopper?'
'Our elephant,' said Syme, looking upwards, 'has leapt into the sky like a grasshopper.'"

From the blurb: ["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 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..."]

This book was wacky, and casually put - absolutely nuts.

The Man Who Was Thursday doesn't quite fit into a specific genre, and I think that is one of the best things about it. From the beginning I found myself in a literary trance, with all of my favourite things - poetry, philosophy and crime. Chesterton's writing is incredible. His ability to tell a story through poetry is something I admire, and the way he told this story full of ironies and beautiful contradictions was mesmerizing. 

While the book started off very well, around chapter eleven, things started to get pretty ridiculous. In saying this, I still loved what I was reading, despite having hardly any idea what was going on! I caught myself laughing throughout the final chapters...this book was funny! Yet I'm not even sure if it was supposed to be? In the Penguin edition there is an excerpt from an article on the book by Chesterton, and without giving spoilers, it really explained everything! So, if you are going to read this book, I advise you grab this copy.

I really loved this book! I think it is one of my favourite classic novels I have come across, and left me so confused, but books like this are exactly why I find literature so exciting. Beautifully written, with a plot-line that was completely manic! I can't even put a rating on this, but am already planning to read it again. Give it a go. It is confusingly brilliant!

If you liked this, you may also enjoy...