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The Man Who Knew Too Much Paperback – December 1, 2012
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
It happens that I do enjoy these mysteries and other fiction from that time and have been reading a lot of it lately. I wasn't familiar with Chesterton other than some Father Brown short stories so I thought I would try this free kindle version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (Nothing to do with the Hitchcock movies, by the way:-))
I'm not surprised now that I had never met Thorne Fisher, "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Set in the years leading up to WWI and heavily involved with the politics of the time, initially these stories seemed to be standard fare for the genre. But there was a subtle subversive twist in each one, rare in mysteries especially at that time, that kept me interested. Then in the final two stories, the full picture emerges. All of the stories coalesce and this becomes, not a collection of short stories, but a striking novel. Publishing one story separate from the others would completely ruin the impact of the whole.
If I were rating this book based on one or two stories, I would probably have given it four stars- three as OK for its genre and one for that unusual twist. But taken as a whole, I have to say I love it. I think it is far more than most of its contemporaries.
This selection of stories center around Horne Fisher, the languid, well-connected title character, and Harold March, the hopeful journalist. Horne Fisher is the kind of person you'd want to call in "Who wants to be a millionaire," and Harold March the upstanding young man you'd trust to bring your daughter home on time. In all the stories, a crime happens; Fisher finds out who did it and why, and very often also explains why the truth needs to be covered up.
Warning: Refined modern tastes may be offended at some unfavorable stereotyping.
Chesterton is usually known for his non-fiction theological writings. But the wit, insight, wisdom and humor he uses in his non-fiction work is also on full display in this book, which chronicles the observation skills of Mr. Horne Fisher.
Fisher is the man who knows too much. Because he knows too much, he solves mysteries and riddles "backwards" from the way a typical detective would. Although Fisher is not a detective, but just a man who is well-known and well-connected, he seems to stumble upon the most bizarre settings. Fisher knows too much, so he spots what's missing, and then works "backwards" to unravel the conundrum. It's quite fascinating to watch him at work, and Chesterton's insights into the human spirit make his characters very engaging.
These are not your typical detective stories, but the uniqueness of Horne Fisher's crime-solving technique makes "The Man Who Knew Too Much" an enjoyable and enlightening book.