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The Napoleon of Notting Hill Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Book, September 18, 2013||
"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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Top customer reviews
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like The Man Who Was Thursday, The Napoleon of Notting Hill seems to have been written on inspiration, and for the sake of hashing out an idea, more than to expound any particular creed.
The witty humor and descriptions of types of men set the stage beautifully for his commentary on the ludicrous aspects of war, politics, business interests...and kings.
While at times I found myself picturing Peter Sellars in "The Mouse That Roared" combined with ridiculously operatic themes, I enjoyed the presentation of the "big picture" (in this case war) being comprised of vignettes or "what is old is new" or that when businessmen agree...the non-seller must be mad and (mis)treated as such.
I thought it did get bogged down some in the middle but continued to appreciate the tongue-in-cheek observations about many aspects of life. How can you argue with sentences like: "People strike dignified attitudes and pretend that things matter."
Surely Dickens - whom Chesterton was familiar with - had some crazy characters, but they weren't really the protagonist, nor the status quo. Here, the philosopher in Chesterton shines. By making that character the protagonist of sorts, he enables us to see just how chaotic it would be to spend more than five minutes in their shoes. But the connecting factor is the point he is trying to make: you know nihilism? That's the crazy guy! And yes, we are allowing our country to be infected with these nihilistic ideas. So what does that allow the reader to conclude? Well, just as much as Quinn was annoying and crazy, so too should we, the readers, be concerned with allowing a crazy idea to rule our future.
The stark reality is that even the nihilist needs rules, and even the non-conformist must conform to something.Why? well, absolute pandemonium would ensue!
Given the disappointing results of universal-suffrage democracy in most countries, it is refreshing to see prose like the following, "The old idealistic republicans used to found democracy on the idea that all men were equally intelligent. Believe me, the sane and enduring democracy is founded on the fact that all men are equally idiotic."
Having said that, it is not true that most republics were founded by people who believed in universal suffrage and it is not true that all men are idiotic.
Ayn Rand fans will have to suspend logic to follow the struggle in this novel, because patriots are described as altruistic and tyrants are described as selfish.
However, overall there are interesting ideas within and therefore "Notting Hill" is worth reading.
John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"