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The Man Who Was Thursday Paperback – October 14, 2011

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Boys are mysterious creatures, with rich imaginations and inner lives at which most can only guess. Luckily, a few writers have the talent to capture their fantasies of extraordinary adventure and epic bravery. Inspired by the success of The Dangerous Book For Boys, the six titles of the Penguin Great Books For Boys collection celebrate the adventurer within every boy with tales of shipwreck, murder, espionage, and survival. With a striking series look that is nostalgic and, at the same time, completely modern, these Great Books For Boys are sure to appeal to boys young and old.

In a park in London, secret policeman Gabriel Syme strikes up a conversation with an anarchist. Sworn to do his duty, Syme uses his new acquaintance to go undercover in Europe?s Central Anarchist Council and infiltrate their deadly mission, even managing to have himself voted to the position of ?Thursday.?

When Syme discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, however, he starts to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies.

But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has?its leader: a man named Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (October 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613821298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613821299
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,376,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Grotzke on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Point: Both good and evil exist in this world, but there is one who understands it all

Path: Chesterton leads the reader through twist and turn in this running novel. Anarchists and police officers meet and unmask one another. Giant elephants, twisted smiles, hot air balloons, and a man in the dark make this story a revealer of surprises every page.

Sources: Chesterton was describing the insanity he saw all around him at the beginning of the 20th century. His fantastic imagination lights a fire which burns for days in the mind of the reader.

Agreement: This world is on its head, but at least there is one who knows it all. And that one is slowly showing a few.

Personal App: Although I have had to work through this several times, I keep wanting to read it again. There is so much there.

Favorite Quote: "We say that the most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men; my heart goes out to them. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. But philosophers dislike property as property; they wish to destroy the very idea of personal possession."

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra Murphy on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
From the back cover of the illustrated Idylls Press edition:

"Originally published in 1908, G.K. Chesterton's nightmare-fantasy of Police vs. Dynamiters, Law vs. Anarchy, and Religion vs. Nihilism has influenced writers as diverse as Franz Kafka and C.S. Lewis, and remains as exuberant and imaginative, as original and prophetic as when if first appeared."

While Chesterton is probably best known in Christian circles for his apologetical works (The Everlasting Man, Orthodoxy, et al.), his novels are simultaneously so much fun and yet so profound that it is long since time for contemporary readers to rediscover them. THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY, for instance, while a work of its time--our terrorists are of a different and less civilized sort than those in Chesterton's day, when even a Dynamiter felt obliged to keep his word--Chesterton still has much to teach us. For it would appear that the philosophical foundations of this nastiest of political tactics has changed very little in almost a century.

Part detective thriller, part Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass fantasy, THURSDAY is the wild and witty tale of a poet turned detective (Gabriel Syme) whose mission in life, after witnessing a horrible bomb blast in London, is to destroy the evil conclave of Anarchists threatening civilization. Meeting another poet, this one of the Anarchist persuasion (Lucian Gregory), Syme goes undercover to infiltrate the Council of European Anarchists.

And just in time, too, as this occasionally frightening, occasionally goofy group of eccentrics, known only to one another by the names of the Days of the Week--Syme ends up as "Thursday"--is plotting nothing less than the assassination of the Russian Czar and the French President during a meeting in Paris.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Jenkins on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you come into this novel lacking (at least) a cursory familiarity with the big Greek philosophers (Plato, Epicurus, the neo-Platonists, etc.) and Christianity, you will have no payoff at the end. That being said, I suppose someone unfamiliar with the aforementioned might still enjoy the chase/spy aspects of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Sanley on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a delightful book, if you like odd humor, such as funny contradictions. I felt like Alice at the mad tea party, with all the crazy twists and unexpected turns from where I thought the story might be going. It was a fun ride. Chesterton's works are treasures.
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