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Publisher's Summary

Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English literary and social critic, historian, playwright, poet, Catholic theologian, debater, mystery writer, and foremost, a novelist. Among the primary achievements of Chesterton's extensive writing career are the wide range of subjects written about, the large number of genres employed, and the sheer volume of publications produced. He wrote several plays, around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories and 4,000 essays. Chesterton's writings without fail displayed wit and a sense of humor by incorporating paradox, yet still making serious comments on the world, government, politics, economics, theology, philosophy and many other topics. His talent as a mystery writer is displayed in his collection of detective stories, The Man Who Knew Too Much. In each story, the star detective, Horne Fisher, deals with another strange mystery: the vanishing of a priceless coin, the framing of an Irish "prince" freedom fighter, an eccentric rich man dies during an obsessive fishing trip, another vanishing during an ice skate, a statue crushing his own uncle, and a few more.

Includes "The Face in the Targe", "The Vanishing Prince", "The Soul of the Schoolboy", "The Bottomless Well", "The Fad of the Fisherman", "The Hole in the Wall", "The Temple of Silence", and "The Vengeance of the Statue".

Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Man Who Knew Too Much

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    164
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    130
  • 3 Stars
    99
  • 2 Stars
    40
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    22
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    117
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    49
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    25
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    15
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  • 4 Stars
    119
  • 3 Stars
    78
  • 2 Stars
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    21

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Prince who Knows Paradox Too Well

A collection of Chesterton detective stories revolving around Horne Fisher and his companion, political journalist Harold March. These stories have a lot of the same late Victorian/Edwardian flavor of Sherlock Holmes and Chesterton's own Father Brown stories. The reluctant, and moral protagonist of The Man Who Knew Too Much, however, is often forced by greater-good circumstance or a need to protect the best interests of England from revealing the killer or the culprit.

The strengths of these stories revolves around the clever paradoxes that the Chesterton (the dark prince of paradox) knows too well. The weakness of these stories (and the reason I gave them 3 stars and not 4 stars) is the unsubtle antisemitism that pops up in a couple of them (especially 'the Bottomless Well').

Stories include:

"The Face in the Target"
"The Vanishing Prince"
"The Soul of the Schoolboy"
"The Bottomless Well"
"The Hole in the Wall"
"The Fad of the Fisherman"
"The Fool of the Family"
"The Vengeance of the Statue"

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I would recommend this book

Well written and well preformed I enjoyed G.K. Chesterton's less well known story of " The Man Who Knew Too Much". Eight different mysteries with surprising twists and relatable characters, I would encourage any mystery fan or fan of British literature to read this book.

I would like to caution the reader on the author's choice to include profanity in his work. I was disappointed by this which was why I could not give a full five stars to the story.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Such an irritating narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Wow, this reader is horrible. He has a pedantic, fussy way of speaking that makes him so irritating to listen to. Most of the characters sound the same. The book itself is a little old-fashioned. The stories are not very compelling, but I did want to see how they ended. It was the characters I didn't like. And there was quite a bit of racism there too. Just skip this one. At least it was free!

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Harold Wiederman is a fantastic narrator!

What made the experience of listening to The Man Who Knew Too Much the most enjoyable?

Harold Wiederman's narration, and Horne Fischer's languid and comical apparent exasperation of his own knowledge and observation skills.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Each story Horne Fischer relates to his friend have wonderfully crafted twists and unexpected conclusions. This has been my favorite GK Chesterton book so far.

What about Harold Wiederman’s performance did you like?

Harold Wiederman brings Fischer alive - as if Fischer himself was sitting with me, whilst relating his extraordinary knowledge and stories.I really hope that Mr Wiederman will be narrating more books. He made this book come alive for me, as I am sure will of other author's characters.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

worst purchase ever

What disappointed you about The Man Who Knew Too Much?

It was a very slow and un-moving performance, I was too bored

Would you ever listen to anything by G. K. Chesterton again?

maybe

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Harold Wiederman?

no idea, but I would suggest choosing one with a better range of voices

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did like the language used. The words had depth and meaning

Any additional comments?

I want my money back

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

I enjoyed the intrigue and the twisting plot. I also like reading various fiction & non-fiction books from the same time period together to get a better feel for the people who lived then and there.

In that sense, this book fit in well with those of CS Lewis that I had just finished.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Free, thankfully

Any additional comments?

This was offered for free by Amazon. I'm glad because I don't think it would be worth purchasing. Would not recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

What disappointed you about The Man Who Knew Too Much?

I did not like the intonation or interpretation of the dialogue by the narrator. While I realize this work is set in first half of the 20th Century I feel it may have been of more interest with a different reading.

What do you think your next listen will be?

A more lively narrator

How could the performance have been better?

See above

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Man Who Knew Too Much?

Not qualified to make comment

Any additional comments?

This was my first time with an audio book and perhaps my choice of work was not well informed and in addition I did not realize I could listen to a preview.
I cannot rate the story as I only listened to the first one and a few minutes of the second - it was too painful to continue.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Repetitive and boring

Others have been critical of the narrator but I could tolerate him on a higher speed. After about the 3rd story they all seemed pretty much alike to me and I found the second half of the book boring. It was free and I would not pay for this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Creative but hard to follow

Well-read but the text was disengaging. I use that word to illustrate. Too many awkwardly placed adjectives made following the story diffucult. I am a William Faulkner fan but would not try in an audio book. Chesterton was only slightly less difficult.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Prime Customer
  • 05-02-22

Exquisite

The exquisite quality of the narration does justice to the beauty of the writing.
Each chapter reveals interesting and original storytelling, keeping your interest until the last page.

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  • Stephen M Hall
  • 05-04-22

Great stories, but very poor accent work.

These are diverting short stories; well written, but very much of their time, and no one could ever accuse them of being politically correct…
As whodunnits, they often rely on revealing important information at the last minute, and often that information is only known by the protagonist. Hmm…
But the real letdown here is the accent work by the narrator. There are several errors, which the director never pulls him up on. I’m guessing the narrator is American, doing the best English accent(s) he can… but “minny” for “many”, “mahn” for “man”… and “potAAHto sacks” for “potato sacks”?
Twice?! Seriously?