The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (Penguin Classics)

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9780141191461: The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (Penguin Classics)
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G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday is a thrilling novel of deception, subterfuge, double-crossing and secret identities, and this Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Matthew Beaumont. The Central Anarchist Council is a secret society sworn to destroy the world. The council is governed by seven men, who hide their identities behind the names of the days of the week. Yet one of their number - Thursday - is not the revolutionary he claims to be, but a Scotland Yard detective named Gabriel Syme, sworn to infiltrate the organisation and bring the architects of chaos to justice. But when he discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, Syme begins to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies, unravelling the mysteries of human behaviour and belief in a thrilling contest of wits. But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has: a man named Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined ... In his introduction, Matthew Beaumont examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores its intriguing title. This edition also contains a chronology, notes and suggested further reading. G.K. Chesterton (1874-1938) attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1922) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938. If you enjoyed The Man Who Was Thursday, you might enjoy Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, also available in Penguin Classics. 'The most thrilling book I have ever read' Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim

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In an article published the day before his death, G.K. Chesterton called The Man Who Was Thursday "a very melodramatic sort of moonshine." Set in a phantasmagoric London where policemen are poets and anarchists camouflage themselves as, well, anarchists, his 1907 novel offers up one highly colored enigma after another. If that weren't enough, the author also throws in an elephant chase and a hot-air-balloon pursuit in which the pursuers suffer from "the persistent refusal of the balloon to follow the roads, and the still more persistent refusal of the cabmen to follow the balloon."

But Chesterton is also concerned with more serious questions of honor and truth (and less serious ones, perhaps, of duels and dualism). Our hero is Gabriel Syme, a policeman who cannot reveal that his fellow poet Lucian Gregory is an anarchist. In Chesterton's agile, antic hands, Syme is the virtual embodiment of paradox:

He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else. His father cultivated art and self-realization; his mother went in for simplicity and hygiene. Hence the child, during his tenderer years, was wholly unacquainted with any drink between the extremes of absinthe and cocoa, of both of which he had a healthy dislike.... Being surrounded with every conceivable kind of revolt from infancy, Gabriel had to revolt into something, so he revolted into the only thing left--sanity.
Elected undercover into the Central European Council of anarchists, Syme must avoid discovery and save the world from any bombings in the offing. As Thursday (each anarchist takes the name of a weekday--the only quotidian thing about this fantasia) does his best to undo his new colleagues, the masks multiply. The question then becomes: Do they reveal or conceal? And who, not to mention what, can be believed? As The Man Who Was Thursday proceeds, it becomes a hilarious numbers game with a more serious undertone--what happens if most members of the council actually turn out to be on the side of right? Chesterton's tour de force is a thriller that is best read slowly, so as to savor his highly anarchic take on anarchy. --Kerry Fried

From the Inside Flap:

G. K. Chesterton's surreal masterpiece is a psychological thriller that centers on seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London who call themselves by the names of the days of the week. Chesterton explores the meanings of their disguised identities in what is a fascinating mystery and, ultimately, a spellbinding allegory. As Jonathan Lethem remarks in his Introduction, The real characters are the ideas. Chesterton's nutty agenda is really quite simple: to expose moral relativism and parlor nihilism for the devils he believes them to be. This wouldn't be interesting at all, though, if he didn't also show such passion for giving the devil his due. He animates the forces of chaos and anarchy with every ounce of imaginative verve and rhetorical force in his body.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. G.K. Chesterton s The Man Who Was Thursday is a thrilling novel of deception, subterfuge, double-crossing and secret identities, and this Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Matthew Beaumont.The Central Anarchist Council is a secret society sworn to destroy the world. The council is governed by seven men, who hide their identities behind the names of the days of the week. Yet one of their number - Thursday - is not the revolutionary he claims to be, but a Scotland Yard detective named Gabriel Syme, sworn to infiltrate the organisation and bring the architects of chaos to justice. But when he discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, Syme begins to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies, unravelling the mysteries of human behaviour and belief in a thrilling contest of wits. But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has: a man named Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined .In his introduction, Matthew Beaumont examines the book s themes of identity and confrontation, and explores its intriguing title. This edition also contains a chronology, notes and suggested further reading.G.K. Chesterton (1874-1938) attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1922) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938. If you enjoyed The Man Who Was Thursday, you might enjoy Joseph Conrad s The Secret Agent, also available in Penguin Classics. The most thrilling book I have ever read Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim. Seller Inventory # APG9780141191461

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. G.K. Chesterton s The Man Who Was Thursday is a thrilling novel of deception, subterfuge, double-crossing and secret identities, and this Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Matthew Beaumont.The Central Anarchist Council is a secret society sworn to destroy the world. The council is governed by seven men, who hide their identities behind the names of the days of the week. Yet one of their number - Thursday - is not the revolutionary he claims to be, but a Scotland Yard detective named Gabriel Syme, sworn to infiltrate the organisation and bring the architects of chaos to justice. But when he discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, Syme begins to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies, unravelling the mysteries of human behaviour and belief in a thrilling contest of wits. But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has: a man named Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined .In his introduction, Matthew Beaumont examines the book s themes of identity and confrontation, and explores its intriguing title. This edition also contains a chronology, notes and suggested further reading.G.K. Chesterton (1874-1938) attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1922) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938. If you enjoyed The Man Who Was Thursday, you might enjoy Joseph Conrad s The Secret Agent, also available in Penguin Classics. The most thrilling book I have ever read Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim. Seller Inventory # APG9780141191461

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. G.K. Chesterton s The Man Who Was Thursday is a thrilling novel of deception, subterfuge, double-crossing and secret identities, and this Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Matthew Beaumont.The Central Anarchist Council is a secret society sworn to destroy the world. The council is governed by seven men, who hide their identities behind the names of the days of the week. Yet one of their number - Thursday - is not the revolutionary he claims to be, but a Scotland Yard detective named Gabriel Syme, sworn to infiltrate the organisation and bring the architects of chaos to justice. But when he discovers another undercover policeman on the Council, Syme begins to question his role in their operations. And as a desperate chase across Europe begins, his confusion grows, as well as his confidence in his ability to outwit his enemies, unravelling the mysteries of human behaviour and belief in a thrilling contest of wits. But he has still to face the greatest terror that the Council has: a man named Sunday, whose true nature is worse than Syme could ever have imagined .In his introduction, Matthew Beaumont examines the book s themes of identity and confrontation, and explores its intriguing title. This edition also contains a chronology, notes and suggested further reading.G.K. Chesterton (1874-1938) attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1922) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938. If you enjoyed The Man Who Was Thursday, you might enjoy Joseph Conrad s The Secret Agent, also available in Penguin Classics. The most thrilling book I have ever read Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim. Seller Inventory # BZV9780141191461

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