• The Man Who Was Thursday, A Nightmare (AmazonClassics Edition)

  • By: G. K. Chesterton
  • Narrated by: Rory Barnett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Poet Gabriel Syme believes in the beauty of order and, as such, is recruited by Scotland Yard to an anti-anarchist police corp. While undercover, Syme meets fellow poet Lucian Gregory, a verse writer devoted to disorder, who introduces him to London’s anarchist underworld. Just as Gregory is to be elected to the central council, Syme’s cover is revealed and he is forced to make a decision that sends the cabal into chaos. Is anyone in this underground faction who or what they seem? Syme suddenly realizes he doesn’t have all the answers.

G. K. Chesterton’s masterpiece unfolds itself as a marvel of disguises: political parable, detective novel, Edwardian gothic, spy thriller, and metaphysical mystery - a byzantine maze of deception and subterfuge that surprises to this day.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Man Who Was Thursday, a nightmare, this edition of The Man Who Was Thursday, A Nightmare (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Fighting themselves

G K Chesterton's The Man Who was Thursday, a Nightmare is dark comedy written in 1908 and focused on anarchy and anarchists. An undercover Scotland Yard policeman manages to infiltrate what is believed to be the senior council of a European anarchists' society. He had been recruited to this job in a secretive manner by a senior officer whom he has never seen. Each member of the council is referred to as a day of week with Sunday as the leader, while he becomes Thursday. Gradually through the course of his investigation, he comes to learn that the rest of council are also undercover policemen, all unknown to each other resulting in many odd and semi-humorous situations.

Chesterton crafts a complex thriller with the subject of anarchy analogous to terrorism today with the societal fear and intense law enforcement. The backstory on Thursday is intriguing as he came to this line of work after youthful excess in the direction anarchy and essentially was rebelling against rebelling. The ending is a bit confusing but suggests the need for a benign evil to prevent malevolent evil from emerging.

The narration is acceptable, particularly with regards to English and European accents. Pacing is brisk.

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