The Man Who Was Thursday
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The wild joy of being Thursday
Witty, wonderfully written and endlessly surprising, The Man who was Thursday is a novel which defies categories. It is hard to believe it was first published a whole century ago and that its protagonists scamper about in tails and top hats 'like black chimney pots'. On one level, it is a breathless thriller worthy of 007 - featuring a descent into an international terrorist organization headquarters, a baffling game of subterfuge between spies and a high speed chase through central London after an elephant and a hot air balloon. On another, it is a profound meditation on the nature of identity and the theological problem of evil. Entertainment and such weighty themes make strange bedfellows indeed, but here it is as if they tear off the sheets and indulge in a 100-page pillow fight so much fun is had by their combination. Chesterton acts as a winking master of revels throughout, orchestrating the chaos in his inimitable style while scattering bon mots and charming comparisons with...
Published in 1908, this is a classic thriller novel by G. K. Chesterton. The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare tells the story of an anarchist Lucian Gregory, a poet who met Gabriel Syme, a new recruit to a secret anti-anarchist taskforce at Scotland Yard. Syme meets Gregory at a party and debates with him about the meaning of poetry. Gregory argues that revolt is at the core of poetry, while Syme insists that safety and orderliness (specifically, a timetable for the London Underground) are the greatest human achievements, and suggests that Gregory isn't really serious about his anarchism. This so irritates Gregory that he takes Syme to an underground anarchist meeting place. But later in the story, Syme discovers that five of the other six members are also undercover detectives; each was just as mysteriously employed and assigned to defeat the Council of Days.