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Manalive Paperback – May 7, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613822855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613822852
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,911,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Chesterton's truths play leapfrog with one another, but they always land squarely on their feet. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this hilarious story to which he has given the characteristic title, Manalive. --Catholic World --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

G K Chesterton has been described as one of the most unjustly neglected writers of our time. Born in 1874, he became a journalist and later began writing books and pamphlets. His work includes novels, literary and social criticism, political papers and spiritual essays in a style characterised by enormous wit, paradox, humility and wonder.

He converted to Catholicism in 1922 and he explores the nature of spirituality in many of his books and essays, including the mighty Orthodoxy.

Chesterton is one of the few authors who are genuinely timeless and whose work has as much relevance today as when it was written --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Chesterton suddenly introduces one of his pet ideas.
James Paris
A reader walks away from this work, realizing the beauty of the birds, the sweet smell of the flowers and the delight of one's own romantic love.
A Reader Living In Asia
This book is a world-class piece of literature that deserves to be read and studied.
Alana Muir

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Reader Living In Asia on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my first read of Chesterton. After seeing him quoted and referred to in so many other books I had been reading, I decided it was time to check out his actual work. I was not disappointed, and feel like I have discovered some hidden treasure!

Beautifully written, mixing the ridiculous with the profound, I found myself underlining many times in this book. G.K. Chesterton's main character Innocent Smith managed to restore so much joy to even my life. Such is the goal of this character, to restore the joy of being alive. He manages to achieve this in a manner that many consider childlike or quite certainly insane! Innocent Smith aids other members of the tale in discovering the meaning of death; "It isn't only meant to remind us of a future life, but to remind us of a present life, too." A reader walks away from this work, realizing the beauty of the birds, the sweet smell of the flowers and the delight of one's own romantic love. I find myself indebted to this work for helping to restore my joy of living.

I did discover one difficulty in starting this read. I am so accustom to reading such easily digested material, it took me several attempts to actually get past the first three pages. I thought to myself, 'how many adjectives does he need!' After crossing this hurdle, I was so delighted by the rich descriptions as one viewing a fine piece of art.

I highly suggest this work with 5 out of 5 stars and am looking forward to reading more of Chesterton.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By oldfatslow on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is my favorite GKC novel. Chesterton writes a grown up novel about those who must become like little children to enter the Kingdom of God. Chesterton treats each mundane moment as momentous and the repetitious as startlingly new. Life for him is adventure and joy and he can't stand to see anyone not joining him.
The Spirit of God is the wind that moves throughout the entire book and stirs up the lives of all it touches.
I'd love to see this book as a play.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By G.K. Scholar on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although not labeled as such, this is a print-on-demand book (the telltale sign is an output date on the last page). The odd dimensions (7.5" x 9.25") and the abundance of errors in typography make it difficult to read. There is also the added concern that since there is absolutely no front matter supplied not even as to the source edition scanned that this may be an altered or abridged version. Find yourself a better edition.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. N. Gallimore on January 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Whether you're new to Chesterton or have read everything else he has written I cannot recommmend this book highly enough. In my opinion this is the best of his more serious allegorical novels in that the meaning is not hidden and confused as it is in some of his other works, but is right there ready to smack you in the face. Chesterton was always concerned with the problems facing the modern man (and while he wrote at the turn of the 19th century his "modern man" is still as modern today as it was then). The increasing societal pressures facing both the Christian and the non-Christian alike were then as now forcing people to view the world with a serious and somber tone, always looking to their survival in a world where absolutes were lacking and authority was no longer to looked to for answers. In this dismal worldview it is all too easy for man to get so caught up in the day to day struggles that he forgets that he is alive, that he is a living breathing person with a will of his own and not merely an automaton of a crushing society. He is alive, and that is a gerat thing!
While the story is rather strait forward and not nearly as interesting in its own light as some of his other novels, this book is so full of life that the reader cannot help but want to jump up and down at times at the reemergence of joy in the lives of the characters. While the "irresponsible" lifestyle prtrayed in the book should not be taken as a realistic alternative to the monotony of life that has clutched so many, the exposure of stodginess for what it really is should be a warning to anyone who has ever found themselves snearing at the strange behaviors of children or getting too caught up in our increasingly materialistic culture.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joshua M. Clark on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other people have already written on what this book is about, so I will write on why this book is so good simply taken as fiction. I find this passage, from the Warden's account of the occurences at Brakespeare College, sums it up quite well:

"There is something pleasing to a mystic in such a land of mirrors. For a mystic is one who holds that two worlds are better than one. In the highest sense indeed, all thought is reflection.

"This is the real truth in the saying that second thoughts are best. Animals have no second thoughts; man alone is able to see his own thought double, as a drunkard sees a lamp-post. Man alone is able to see his own thought upside down as one sees a house in a puddle. This duplication of mentality, as in a mirror, is (we repeat) the inmost thing of human philosophy. There is a mystical, even a monstrous truth in the statement that two heads are better than one. But they ought both to grow on the same body."

This is the glory of well-written fiction. Good fiction provides an engaging, lovely story full of themes both mundane and sublime, and it also acknowledges that the story is in essence a reflection of the original world and story God created. The clearer a writer's reflection of the majesty and beauty of this earthly world, the more wondrous the story. Chesterton realized that "a puddle repeats infinity, and is full of light; nevertheless, if analyzed objectively, a puddle is a piece of dirty water spread very thin on mud." And though earthly fiction might be but a thin puddle, it repeats infinity. Manalive reflects this infinity especially well because Chesterton was truly "Manalive."

Definitely one of my top 5 all-time favorite books.
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