"THIS IS THE SITUATION: The head of one of our departments, one of the most celebrated detectives in Europe, has long been of opinion that a purely intellectual conspiracy would soon threaten the very existence of civilization. He is certain that the scientific and artistic worlds are silently bound in a crusade against the Family and the State. He has, therefore, formed a special corps of policemen, policemen who are also philosophers . . ."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English journalist, poet, biographer, historian, debater, radio personality, and novelist who wrote more than 100 books on a wide variety of subjects. He is best known for his beloved Father Brown series of detective stories and The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, his genre-defying masterpiece that centers on poet-turned-detective Gabriel Syme in turn-of-the-century London as he infiltrates and pursues members of an anarchists’ society who call themselves by the names of the days of the week. Button your frock coat and hold tight to your bowler hat as Chesterton plunges you through philosophical discourse, surreal allegory, metaphysical thriller, detective farce, dystopian fairy tale, and gothic romance in a madcap rollick that is, above all, indubitably entertaining!
"A raucous carnival of genres: thriller, farce, detective story, dystopia, fairy tale, and gothic romance."
We’ve kept our Heathening to a minimum. We’ve updated some hyphened words to reflect their modern usage. Examples: “motor-car” is now “motorcar” and “frock-coat” is now “frock coat.” The great majority of our work, though, has been with the footnotes, of which there are several. As the plot is a raucous romp from London to France and back again, many of the annotations are concerning the various locales that our merry band of misfits, shall we say, crash along the way.
If you don’t like our footnotes (it’s okay, really), then we highly recommend Martin Gardner’s Annotated Edition from Ignatius Press. Mr. Gardner’s various musings on how some of Chesterton’s works are interconnected and what influenced who is fascinating and worth your time if you’re craving a deeper dive into all things Thursday.
That’s it for us. We know what’s in store, so we won’t keep you. Enjoy the book!
“The Man Who Was Thursday is not quite a political bad dream, nor a metaphysical thriller, nor a cosmic joke in the form of a spy novel, but it has something of all three . . . it remains the most thrilling book I have ever read.” –Kingsley Amis
“Chesterton’s tour de force is a thriller that is best read slowly, so as to savor his highly anarchic take on anarchy.” –Kerry Fried
“A novel that fundamentally believes in the decency and the wisdom of us all, and you don’t find too many of those.” –Nick Hornby
“It’s a damn good read that I believe should be read by everyone in politics.” –Terry Pratchett
“Chesterton’s great book gives me food, armor, and a compass for the soul.” –Anne Perry
“A raucous carnival of genres: thriller, farce, detective story, dystopia, fairy tale and gothic romance. It can be read as a philosophical treatise or a fraught expression of religious conviction but above all it is gloriously entertaining.” –Simon Hammond, The Guardian
“A myth both richly comic and nightmarish, and the scene at the end, where you discover at last who Sunday really is, is a theophany second in power only to the last four chapters of the Book of Job.” –Frederick Buechner
Published: March 24, 2019
Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.47 inches
Weight: 8.6 ounces
Cover: Matte Finish
Interior: Black & White on Cream Paper
Pages: 186 (+2 POD)
Annotations: 191 Footnotes
March 24, 2019