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The Innocence of Fathe...
 
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G.K. Chesterton
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The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  5,998 ratings  ·  302 reviews
The first compilation of Father Brown short stories, The Innocence of Father Brown, is the best place to start when diving into the world of G.K. Chesterson's classic detective stories. Father Brown is introduced in the famous story "The Blue Cross," and lovers of mystery will become quickly entrenched in his world. Often labeled the intuitive cousin of Arthur Conan Doyle'...more
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Published August 23rd 2011 by Christian Classics Ethereal Library (first published 1910)
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Werner
Jul 21, 2010 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Chesterton was a contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and though he created his principal fictional sleuth, Father Brown, after Doyle had written the bulk of the Holmes canon, he can also claim a formative role (though not nearly so important as Doyle's) in the shaping of the genre. Father Brown is the first --but not the last!-- in a tradition of men and women of the cloth who solve traditional mysteries, the lineal ancestor of such figures as Father Dowling and Brother Cadfael, and the firs...more
Justus
Reading this reminded me all over again why I hate the Agatha Christie style of whodunnit where people commit bizarrely complicated murders for equally bizarre reasons. Let's take the second story in the collection.

M. Valentin is the Chief of Police and also an atheist. He hears a rumor that an American millionaire is going to donate his fortune to the Church of France. Since he is a rabid atheist he sets out to murder the man before he can amend his will. Let's pass over that central absurdity...more
Nullifidian
May 05, 2011 Nullifidian rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Members of the BNP and others who long for the days of "Empahr".
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trin
Chesterton is perhaps best known for his Father Brown stories, so I was deeply disappointed to find that they represent him at his preachy, intolerant worst. If I’d started here, instead of with the wonderfully weird and delightfully dark The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Hill, I would have had no desire to pick up anything by Chesterton again. All of these stories seem to revolve around the irritatingly smug Father Brown proving that some type of non-Christian is wrong wrong...more
Manny
If you haven't come across the Father Brown stories (I'm surprised how few reviews there are), then they are worth reading. G.K. Chesterton is much more entertaining than your average Christian apologist, and if only the basic assumption of these books actually were true then I would feel a lot more sympathetic towards the Christian Church.

Chesterton doesn't just want to convince you that Christianity is different from superstition; in his universe, it's the opposite of superstition! The idea in...more
Ron
Good, but not as good as I hoped/expected. While the Father Brown short stories are in one sense classic detective tales, they focus on the preternatural ability of the diminutive cleric to pull solutions out of (apparently) thin air. Since the reader is not given enough background to even make faulty conjectures, the fun is diminished.

The title character is a winning one, though I found myself substituting Alex Guinness' image (who played the good father in an early movie adaptation) for that i...more
Peregrino
Cuando compré este libro, recomendado por Juan Mari, he de reconocer que lo hice sin muchas perspectivas de empezarlo en breve. Había intentado leer una biografía de S. Francisco de Asis del mismo autor, sin superar la página 10.

Sin embargo, he de reconocer que me ha encantado. Me parece un libro muy ameno, inteligente, muy bien escrito, donde se mezclan historias muy sencillas con mensajes más de fondo. Parece que el autor fue publicando las distintas historias del sagaz padre Brown y su amigo...more
Johnny
I don’t usually like short story anthologies, but I made an exception for The Innocence of Father Brown because of Gilbert Keith Chesterton and his friendship with C.S. Lewis and other scholars/authors of the era. I also like the fact that there is a recurring cast of characters in most of the stories in this collection, so I didn’t feel short-changed when I finished each story. They became more like television episodes of a favorite mystery series. The prose can be a little dense at times, but...more
Steven
Somewhere between Sherlock Holmes and television's MONK, Father Brown may be better than both. A bumbling, unimpressive priest who nevertheless uses insights gained in the confessional booth to solve the most intricate criminal mysteries---these stories are a lot of fun. And they have an added appeal because of the way this unusual detective points the criminals to the cross and if they do not repent entirely, he can often secure at least a confession and a return of the stolen loot. And, being...more
Jesse Broussard
I have, at this point, gone through the first nine of this collection of twelve stories, and I am now fully convinced that Chesterton was not only a man of a brilliant mind, but of a very singular mind. His paradox is well known, his way of looking at things in an entirely novel light, his self-deprecation, his humor and wit and sheer genius are all legendary, but these stories are a glimpse into the workings of his mind when he decided to amuse himself with a train of thought, and are fascinati...more
Rose
Ah, Father Brown. I do like him. Even though some of the stories are far-fetched (and that is putting it nicely), I enjoy them. I like Father Brown's perspective and philosophy. There is a lot of humour in the stories, mainly based on very perceptive observations of life, which adds to their enjoyability.
Jim
Because the first G.K. Chesterton story I had ever read -- many years ago -- was "The Blue Cross," the story that opens The Innocence of Father Brown, I have been consciously avoiding the Father brown stories and reading just about everything else by GKC that I could lay my hands on. Was it that I didn't like the story? Not at all! It was just that I was saving it for another occasion. Well, that occasion arose this week.

There is a strange disconnect between the characters in the Father Brown my...more
Joseph
I quite enjoy Father Brown stories. I began reading them a couple years ago...I wanted to get a hold of The Man Who Was Thursday...because I had found it somewhere. In writing each story, the writer inevitably comes by the personage of Father Brown as almost of a side-note, and each story he is introduced again as if it didn't matter that the entire volume of stories were his stories. G.K Chesterton writes very colorfully, in rainbows and spirals, populating his stories with color, extreme weath...more
David
May 15, 2007 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: murderers; theologians
Not only are these among the best detective stories ever written, but this particular edition is edited by a complete madman whose footnotes are nearly as entertaining as the text.
Cheryl
The character of Father Brown is based on a man of the cloth G.K. Chesterton met on one of his ramblings. Hearing confessions of criminal types in urban settings of great need, the "innocent" priest absorbed the motives and methods of his wayward flock. With no outlet for the intake of crime (all confidential, you know) his goal was repentance, conversion, and reformation of his flock rather than earthly justice and restitution.

Spiritually, Father Brown knows human nature, man's dark side and th...more
Aaron
This is the second of Chesterton's works that I've read. I can only describe it as I might Father Brown - quirky genius. Here printed are 12 short tales of murder and mystery, loosely interwoven.

"The Blue Cross" was one of my favorites. The simple inconspicuous deep cunning of Father Brown was most blatantly exhibited for us here. It was like witnessing a feather render an anvil unto powder. Here we first meet our two most important reoccurring characters - the brilliantly creative criminal Fla...more
Adam Graham
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
F.R.
I have read the adventures of a number of detectives who followed Sherlock Holmes, but I don’t think any of them make a good a job of matching the Baker Street resident as Father Brown. That's interesting in that Brown isn’t as much a ‘character’ as Holmes, there are no grand gestures and he often appears a passive person (more than once his sheer normality is emphasised) who steps in with the correct solution when everyone else is baffled or has eagerly grabbed hold of the wrong one. We therefo...more
Mikejencostanzo
An Ode to the Cozy Mystery...

I've always been a big fan of mysteries. I realized how much mysteries have been a part of my life just this morning, as I was thinking about being 33 years old. I was hit by a wave of nostalgia that took me back to my first crush on crime-solvers. I can remember as an early elementary school student, loving the 10-minute "Bloodhound Gang" mystery segment at the end of each episode of the 80's television show "321 Contact." And of course, how could I forget the Encyc...more
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
After finishing the first story in this book, I had high hopes that, like Maurice Leblanc's Arsene Lupin, Chesterton's Father Brown would be another wonderful Project Gutenberg find for me. I enjoyed the reveal at the end of the first story, when Father Brown proved himself to be less naive then he appeared and explained the reason behind all the strange things he'd done and the actions he'd taken to protect the sapphire cross he carried. When Valentin, head of the Paris police and “the most fam...more
Wealhtheow
Jul 30, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bigots
Shelves: battle-of-wits
Really awful Christian propaganda posing as murder mysteries. I was poised to like Chesterton, based solely on a few of his quotes I’d stumbled upon and Neil Gaiman’s good opinion. It’s true that the mysteries themselves are quite interesting. Unfortunately, Chesterton has a narrowness of view. In the first story of the collection, the clever police chief Valentin is the main character. I quite liked him, and looked forward to more interactions between him (an atheist) and Father Brown (a saintl...more
Mariannne
This was my first journey with Father Brown, and I will probably be going back for more. I didn't realize when I picked this one up that it was actually a collection of short(ish) stories and not a novel. The stories are loosely tied together by some of the secondary characters, though.

Father Brown is a very unassuming Catholic priest. The other characters generally start out expecting him to be the patsy, or just get in the way, but his self-deprecating demeanor and "off-topic" queries actually...more
Lisa Cindrich
Okay, have actually (hate the phrase, but...) laughed out loud already and only a short way in. Marvelous way with a phrase, but then he's known for that in his theological writings so I guess it carries over nicely to his fiction.

How can you not enjoy this sort of character description:
"The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown paper parcels, which he was qu...more
Donna
Most detectives seek justice for the victim and the community. Father Brown seeks redemption for the guilty. In these 12 short stories we see Father Brown unravel puzzles of all kinds without the scientific inquiry of Sherlock Holmes. He's also more enjoyable to be around than Holmes, though just as quirky.

I'm sure I'll read more Father Brown and more of Chesterton's other works.

The one caveat here is that Chesterton has the attitudes of his day regarding minorities meaning that blacks, Jews a...more
Laura
This is my first reading of Chesterton's series based on Father Brown stories and I really liked it.

Free download is available at Gutenberg Project.
Molly
My first Chesterton, and the experience was a mixed bag. He is a charming writer, and many of the stories are clever, but the casual racism make them horribly dated and occasionally shocking.
Vikiirna
Well-written, clever little cozies. I'm torn between admiring Father Brown's spiritual insights and abhorring his xenophobia.
ELK
Charming and satisfying.
Andrés Diplotti
Alas, Chesterton! Why must you be so frustrating? Such a beautiful prose for such an insubstantial fare! Chesterton's style is so pleasant to read that I want, I really want to like these stories. I'm certainly very fond of passages like this:

There is in the world a very aged rioter and demagogue who breaks into the most refined retreats with the dreadful information that all men are brothers, and wherever this leveller went on his pale horse it was Father Brown's trade to follow.


Or this:

The ves
...more
Mohammed
Normally i dont like reading classic detective stories of the elegant, cozy mystery type. I read them by Poe, Chesterton type authors only because they are great classic authors known mostly for other type of fiction. Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes i read more for larger than life character and he reinvented the type.

Father Brown stories in this collection were often cleverly plotted mysteries, the cases was solved with down to earth logic, evidence and not with what i dislike most of the type whi...more
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) cannot be summed up in one sentence. Nor in one paragraph. In fact, in spite of the fine biographies that have been written of him (and his Autobiography), he has never been captured between the covers of one book. But rather than waiting to separate the goats from the sheep, let’s just come right out and say it: G.K. Chesterton was the best writer of the twent...more
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Orthodoxy The Man Who Was Thursday The Complete Father Brown The Everlasting Man The Man Who Knew Too Much

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