16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Victorian, Singularly Chestertonian, Whimsical Characters,
This review is from: The Club of Queer Trades (Paperback)
This early work (1905) by G. K. Chesterton defies classification. These six successive stories initially appear to be mysteries, possibly whimsical mysteries, except that the apparent crimes and misdeeds may not be criminal upon closer inspection. The highly eccentric, zany characters add a frenzied element that baffles any effort at a calm and reasoned deduction. We not only wonder who committed a crime, but we are unsure of the crime itself. The motivation for the misdeeds is as murky as the crime.
We have all encountered tales of eccentric Victorian English clubs. The Club of Queer Trades is a secretive and selective gathering of individuals that have each created an exceedingly original profession. Each one must practice and earn a satisfactory living from his unique profession. Most are preposterous undertakings.
The Club of Queer Trades was not well-received by some literary critics. Nonetheless, I would be rather surprised if the fans of G. K. Chesterton's better known works like the Father Brown mysteries, The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond, and The Napoleon of Notting Hill do not find this curious collection to be superbly enjoyable. This Dover edition is substantially enhanced by the addition of 32 rare, full-page, humorous drawings by G. K. Chesterton himself.