- File Size: 409 KB
- Print Length: 142 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: May 16, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00847NN5U
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,774 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
Manalive Kindle Edition
- Highlight, take notes, and search in the book
- Page numbers are just like the physical edition
- Length: 142 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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Then comes Chesterton’s hero, Innocent Smith. The guy is unquestionably weird, and every one of the "normal ones" (along with the reader) naturally assumes Smith to be insane. He is tall, his head is too small, and his legs are always restless. He is childlike and impulsive. Climbing trees, dining on roofs, playing make believe games, giving his wife secret identities and then pursuing her as if she was his first love--the guy is strange to say the least. But in paradoxical Chesterton fashion, Manalive ends up showing how the insane one, is actually the sane doctor--sent to cure the disease of lifelessness from the dreary boardinghouse crew.
As one of the dull characters interjects: “Beacon house is a certain rather singular sort of house—a house with the tiles loose, shall we say? Innocent Smith is only the doctor that visits us…As most of our maladies are melancholic of course he has to be extra cheery. Sanity, of course, seems a very bumptious eccentric thing to us. Humping over a wall, climbing a tree—that’s his bedside manner.”
Chesterton, much like his hero, is medicinal to the ills of the modern world. And though written over a hundred years ago, Manalive is a book to be read and reread—a sort of jolt (or fire of the revolver so to speak) to a world that more and more resembles the walking dead. It calls us, no differently than it calls the characters in the book, to wake up, to love life--and to enjoy its gifts while we have it. For as Smith says:
“I don’t deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say that at certain strange epochs it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.”
this book is a joy to read; one of the few works of philosophy fiction that won't leave you in a depressed slump.
my only warning would be that towards the end of the book a lot of printing errors occur. at one point a dialogue between a few of the characters is written as one quotation by a completely different character. it's a little annoying, but for the price not too hard to piece together.
all in all, a very awesome by book by an awesome author.
But I found the language ponderous; the narrative boring; the story line very stilted. You have to really love Chesterton to read this book. I have read some Chesterton because better minds than I have recommended it to me. There are some who love Chesterton; I am not a G.K. groupie. Despite this, I did get the reminder to be more alive and present to the presence of God around us. That is a good reminder and it is good to see how some people have done this, including Chesterton.
I found this edition of Manalive, which is "Print on Demand," absent of all Publication in Print information (including the 1906 copyright date) a bit of a nuisance to read. A well-designed book is a pleasure to hold and read. This one wasn't. It had enough of those mid-sentence hyphenation errors often found in Print on Demand to be a distraction. Can't someone please proofread these books!?!
Secondly, the size of this 113-page book is a cumbersome 8" X 10". One would expect it be the more standard 5" X 8", making a 225-page book.
I guess I would say to G.K., "Thanks for trying," and to potential readers, "It's by Chesterton, so give it a try."
Ultimately, I think it is a humorous book, and it can be read for enjoyment as well as for scholarly reasons.
Its about rejecting ennui and cynicism and nihilism. Not for a schmaltzy showboat religion, or a speaking-in-tounges rabble: but for real life, real beauty, real religion.
The final thesis of the book is that life has immense meaning and beauty-and to claim otherwise is just a rather silly thing to do. 100% recommend.