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Publisher's Summary

Chesterton's Gateway was made for the person who has always loved Chesterton quotes, but has never been able to finish - or perhaps even start - a Chesterton book. This is because there really is no really good "first" Chesterton book. They are all hard the first time around. Chesterton was an essayist, and it is through his essays he is best discovered. Ethan Nicolle has put together this assortment of essays, a list he often gives to people who ask him where to start with Chesterton. Included are chapter introductions to help with context.

“G.K. Chesterton was a master essayist. Why? Because he primarily wrote for the newspapers. He had to capture a reader and complete an idea in one sitting. But those thousands of throwaway essays still survive and sparkle as brightly as ever. Ethan Nicolle has provided a perfect sampling from the vast treasure.” (Dale Ahlquist, President , Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

©2021 Ethan Nicolle (P)2021 Ethan Nicolle

What listeners say about Chesterton's Gateway

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Gateway drug

I have been clamoring for an annotated Chesterton collection for as long as I have been a rabid fanboy and sometime Chesterton cosplayer. Ethan Nicole approaches the footnotes with the same lightness of heart Chesterton uses in his writing. This collection was so good, after listening through I immediately sat my wife and several dogs down on the couch and watched their faces for signs of amusement as I played 6 hours of Chesterton essays for them.

Great book!

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Experience Joy - the Chesterton book Chesterton would have liked

This book is amazing. The depth of a great novel with the feel if a fun podcast. There are lots of books about how to read Chesterton, but i feel like this is the first one Chesterton would have enjoyed.

Ethan Nicolle has a pleasant voice (sort of a mature adult version of Kermit the Frog.) In a similar vain, the GK and Ethan duo will have you laughing and giggling and then noticing that you understand deep and beautiful ideas. If you need joy and peace and happiness in your life, you need this audiobook!

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TOPS

This audiobook is perfect. Ethan is the PERFECT person to create this. He explains Chesterton’s obscure references in a hilarious and humble way. Between the humor and wit of Chesterton and the humor and humility of Ethan it’s pretty much perfect.

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Great gateway into Chesterton

It is very clear as you listen that Ethan Nicolle had a lot of fun reading and footnoting this work. I have always loved Chesterton's fiction, but have not read many of his esays or nonfiction. Great listen!

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Delightfully Enlightening

Chesterton would be thrilled by Nicolle's treatment of this selection of essays. With refreshing humility, EN's footnotes succinctly answer practically all the important questions that arise, in a modern voice that won't complicate matters but will make you laugh. A lot.
This makes the audiobook good driving or exercising background, as there's no need to search for something every few minutes to keep up. Nicolle succeeds in making an intellectual & sometimes flowery author accessible and even more fun, providing just enough introduction and context to help you out without weighing down the main attraction.
He also succeeds in his stated goal of making this book a gateway drug to GKC. Before this I'd only read one essay, which intrigued me, but now I'm chomping at the bit to read more. Just need to decide if it will be Heretics or Orthodoxy... (or maybe his fiction?)

As for the GKC material itself, I found it a deeply satisfying spread of content, both in styles and topics. The essays are witty, intelligent, immensely thought-provoking and easy to follow (especially considering the scope of the subjects tackled.)
Even if you don't agree with his opinion –and you almost definitely won't agree with them all– you'll still enjoy Chesterton's jovial personality and clever illustrations, and wish you could sit down over a drink (and some good cheese, he'd like that) to discuss or argue it out with him. His artistic sensibilities come through to create a unique voice, for an author who deals with generally heady subjects, that I particularly appreciated as both an artist and writer myself.
Clearly he was a good-natured man with a lot of wise, thoughtful perspectives to share, things that still resonate, maybe even more loudly today.

While these essays represent only a small sample of GKC's work, the range and depth of issues is such that you're bound to encounter a few arguments you haven't even heard or considered before, and almost definitely this book will introduce you to some unfamiliar element of history, philosophy or theology you want to dive into more deeply. Often I found myself excitedly scribbling quotes to use later and taking down timestamps to listen to again, or some intriguing footnote topic to investigate further: Always signs of a worthwhile read/listen.

Entertaining, educational & expansive, you should definitely give Chesterton's Gateway a few puffs, both for the masterfully-presented viewpoints and the superb wrapping job by Ethan Nicolle.

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A great introduction to Chesterton's essays

This collection of 14 annotated essays is a great introduction to Chesterton's works. Nicolle reads the essays, breaking up the text with short asides to explain some of the references that are more dated now, "Googling for you" as he says.

The chosen essays are both funny and thought-provoking, and the footnotes highlight and inform when needed, but stay out of the way when the original author is on a roll.

Well worth the listen, and one I'll come back to again.

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Ethan Nicolle Is A Hilarious Narrator!

I've been a big fan of Father Brown, but never really put it together about who the author was until I started listening to The Babylon Bee. Whenever Chesterton is brought up a pause occurs and an British accented voice says.. "G K. Chesterton" with an animated picture of Chesterton's face speaking the words. Ethan's love of Chesterton really comes through their podcasts which peaked my interest. Needless to say this "Gateway" to Chesterton is great! Next to discovering the wisdom and insights of Chesterton hearing Ethan's footnotes are hilarious and it's worth getting the audio version of his book for his hilarious footnotes alone! This "Gateway" has definitely made me put more Chesterton books on my list.

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Great listening pleasure

Well, Ethan set out to hook those familiar with Chesterton’s quotes into diving deeper into his works. Mission accomplished. GK is one of those legendary literary figures from the past like J.R.R. Tolkien, CS Lewis, or The apostle Paul (footnote: not to rank all these authors up there with the Spirit breathed word of God, but like scripture, it must be read and reread to peel back the layers of understanding…end footnote)…part poet, counselor, storyteller, philosopher, with a timeless wisdom revealing man’s eternal struggle with himself, others, and his maker. Listening, I often LOLed at clever puns, Huh!’ed in wonder at an insightful revelation, or shook my head at a brilliantly phrased observation that should have been obvious by now. I’ll have to listen to this a few times to catch more gems…and it does encourage me to seek out his books, and maybe introduce GK to a couple of friends. They don’t make them like GK Chesterton anymore!

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I'm Definitely Hooked

This was an extremely well-put-together collection of the works of GK Chesterton. You get a little bit of everything here. Some chapters contain Chesterton's more comedic essays which will have you chuckling the whole way through, some have his more intellectual essays which really force you to rethink your view of life and how you view the Bible- and of course, there's one or two which leave you just thinking how high Chesterton possibly could have been when he put this work together. I really enjoyed the variety of the collection and how much stuff was packed in. I also really enjoyed the narration for the most part. Nicole points out from the get-go that he is not a scholar or hyper-intellectual, simply a man who loves the works of G.K. Chesterton. His frequent annotations help the listener better understand what's going on throughout the different essays and follow Chesterton's genius. He sometimes stuttered or mispronounced words- but in a way, it fit the overall feel of the book. It felt like I was being read to by my uncle who really loves Chesterton and wants to share his love of his writing with me. I really enjoyed how personal the narration felt, despite the occasional mispronunciation. In conclusion, I definitely am hooked on Chesterton. I loved the essays and afterward went online and read a bunch more. In fact, I even ordered Orthodoxy so I'll be reading that next.

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He loves it, so you’ll love it.

This is like being with your dad on game day or following an old restauranteur around a wine cellar. He is there to share his great love and admiration for Chesterton.

Ethan Nicole also gives just enough help to keep you engaged and understanding without sending you off on a wild goose chase. He moderates the distraction of the target reader well.

This is the perfect starting place.

As for Chesterton, any judgement of him say more about me than him. I’m going to finish Orthodoxy now.

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  • Shaz Ginns
  • 12-30-21

A very good window into the work of Chesterton

It is interesting that the work of G K Chesterton is as pertinent and insightful today as it was when he wrote over 100 years ago. Several of his articles could be printed in today’s newspapers (though admittedly papers today are little more than rags and propaganda) and seem to have been written about the world as it stands today. This ‘Gateway” book to Chesterton to a perfect start and the footnotes are helpful. I would love to see more of Chesterton’s work mainstreamed in the schools and any home schooling parent would be wise to assign this book as a great introduction. I also loved Ethan’s asides as he narrated his book. Well done