The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.K. Chesterton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's really not that hard to describe this novel, but it's hard to really capture the real flavor of something, from 1908, really belongs in a melting pot that includes the Keystone Cops, Kafka, Peter Sellars, and a hefty dose of LSD comedy. If that isn't enough absurdity for you, then please take a BIG helping of Christian Allegory.
*Wait. Did he just say what I think he said?*
Yes, I just lumped Christian Allegory in with all that. Bite me.
Seriously, though, reading this was often a wild and funny ride. We got to play with militant poets and zany upper-crust anarchists and a dire thriller for all those cops trying to put a final stop to the perceived plague of lawlessness and vile bombers.
Of course, I perceived early on that this "thriller" was much more like a satire than a gripping police drama, and this was exactly what it was.
Honestly, at one point, I even expected the last villain to tear off his mask and say, "And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you darn kids!" (But twisted to Chesterton's unique message, of course.) (And no, I'm not spoiling that bit. It's worth enjoying for yourself.)
Oddly enough, I swear SO much of this is used as a template for the best zany cop dramas of today's films, by way of the zany cop films of 50 years ago. One really ought to tip one's hat to this particular novel for paving this particularly goofy way.
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