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Mr. Blue
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Mr. Blue

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  213 ratings  ·  24 reviews
J. Blue is a young man who decides to take Christianity seriously, not as a chore but as a challenge. He spends his inherited wealth almost as soon as he gets it. He lives in a packing box on a New York City rooftop. He embraces the poor as his best friends and wisest companions, distrusts the promises of technology (except for the movies), and is fascinated by anything in ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Loyola Classics (first published 1990)
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Written in the 1920's, published at the same time as Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Mr. Blue is the anti-thesis of Jay Gatsby, the self-made millionaire. He is a radical Christian, a modern day, St. Francis of Assisi, who has decided to live the Gospel message come what may. His story is devotedly told by his staunch friend, the book's narrator, who I found to be as sympathetic a character in his way as Blue was in his. We don't learn very much about either of the book's only real personalities, ...more
Lawrence Lam

This is a great novella that has unfortunately been out of print for some time, despite the back cover saying it has been in print for decades. Its audience has likely been fenced in to " Catholic" audiences but it is not a Catholic book. This has appeal to anyone who enjoys the natural beauty of the world and delights in regular human experience. Blue personifies the ideal optimist, smiling and extracting childlike joy from the mundane to the absurd. Connolly has given us a reminder of how much
A story about a selfless man with a beautiful outlook on God, love, and the world around us. A lot could be learned from a man named Blue.
Christian Engler
Mr. Blue, a Catholic novella, by Myles Connolly, is a very unique work of fiction and one that I thoroughly found pleasure in, because it portrays the adherence of faith and doctrine not as an obligation that bit-by-bit brings about mental burdensome affliction, but rather, it is presented as an exciting chllange that goes against the current social and political tide of what popular culture deems to be in vogue or the right way. It is a short work of nervy fiction that not only goes against the ...more
Faith Hough
Eh.... Maybe my high expectations for this novel have something to do with my ultimate disappointment. Considering that Myles Connolly wrote or co-wrote some of my all-time favorite films (he worked closely with Frank Capra), I expected a lot more. But...there was no story. And while, viewed as a character dossier, it portrays an interesting person, the emphasis on creating a believable, rounded character made Blue's good points less creditable--that is, so much of his philosophy was slightly of ...more
My edition of this book by Myles Connolly is a really cute, small paperback, and delightful to carry around, but the contents disappointed me. I think it was the loneliness of the main character that left me empty.

He is a young man in New England who takes the commands of Jesus seriously, to sell everything you have and give to the poor, to forsake the normal path of security and comfort for a greater purpose. You sense that he is well-liked by everyone, but you hardly ever meet any of the peopl
It is a toss-up for me between 3 and 4 stars...but closer to 4 since Mr. Blue did strike a cord in me. I should have guessed that this was a religious book because it is a Loyola Classic and was part of Em's high school reading...but I didn't realize it when I first picked up the book off of Em's floor to read. It did help with my own journey into the Catholic faith - since the journey will always be continuous. I don't think that I could follow the footsteps of Mr. Blue - live in poverty and fi ...more
John Pappas
Connolly's J. Blue, a "holy fool", is the antithesis of Jay Gatsby. When he receives his fortune, he does not seek to mingle with other rich and famous people, nor gain full admittance to the elite social world of the rich. Instead, he gives most of it away, burning through millions in order to follow the example of St. Francis and Jesus, but in Boston and New York. Blue refuses to accept compromise and never conforms to the values, mores and roles society (and the narrator) expect of him. His n ...more
I first read Mr. Blue almost 50 years ago. I adored it with the passion that is only possible in an idealistic 12 year old and read it, wept over it, multiple times before age and cynicism finally claimed me. The beat down copy from that era is still tucked away someplace safe where I could grab it quick in the event of natural or unnatural disaster. That said, it has been many years since I opened it, and my life has meandered far from that 60s-flavored Christian ideal, and my memories of youth ...more
This is one of the few books that I've read more than once. I read it in high school and dreamed about being a female version of J. Blue. Myles Connolly, the author, must have been something of a mystic.

I just learned it was published at the same time as The Great Gatsby and Gatsby got all the p.r.
Tim Mocarski
I don't remember exactly when I first read about Blue other than that I was young, very young, and it left an impression that stayed with me well into my adulthood and still does today.

When I taught, students would often tell me that they could tell I was coming down the hall. They always heard me whistling. Sometimes I would attempt a familiar tune, but most often I would just whistle anything, just the sound was pleasant at least to my ears, just notes high and low as they seemed to fit toget
Yes, Blue is the anti-Gatsby, a modern St. Francis. But his "Spies of God" are not the Franciscans. They're Opus Dei, coincidentally founded in 1928, the same year Myles Connolly published this fine novel. Recommended.
Kevin Rekowski
Swap out religious passages for zest of life and you've got an urbanized, socialized walden.
Should be a more celebrated novel. Like the back cover implies, this is what Jay Gatsby could have been - no idea why we celebrate The Great Gatsby, it's a shallow novel. This, however, is beautiful - a young man REALLY living, a modern day St Francis. I also took from this book that we're all called to be Christ to one another, especially the poor and forgotten. Wish I had half the courage of Mr Blue.
Controversial Pres. of NYU swears every one of his students and colleagues must read this. ONly one of his many categorical pronouncements. Tried to read it........MEH! Not interesting enough to hold interest and too self-consciously pretentious to struggle with. Favorable comparisons with The Great Gatsby merely delusions of ransom reviewers. Gatsby has basis to sue.
Feb 29, 2008 Philip rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone seeking spiritual growth
Recommended to Philip by: Fr. Joe Kelly
This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. Short but to the point; a beautiful, easy read with depth that makes you walk away from it thinking and wanting more. It is a timeless classic for anyone seeking the spiritual. A must read for everyone!
Marjorie Campbell
Wonderful, thought provoking, lasting book about eccentricity within the Christian tradition. Loved it ... thought it ended weakly for the strength of the novel, but happily enjoyed this edition.
Shanny Rose
This is not the world's best example of a novel, but it is a unique and beautiful examination of conscience and a heartwarming and challenging touchstone of enthusiasm for the faith.
Fantastic little book!
Great anti-Gatsby book, and a pleasure to read.
The scene with the Eucharist is one of the most powerful I have ever encountered.
Mary Vinson
Thought provoking. What does God call me to be? Am I too stuck in the conventional wisdom of the culture to hear a call that is radical.
Mr. Blue has an austere, Franciscan outlook on life and lives in New York City. It wasn't bad, but it didn't grab me.
Marissa Manning
It was interesting...a little odd, but kept my interest. Finished within a day
I read it all in one sitting on the top floor of O'Neill.
Sep 05, 2013 Tamara marked it as to-read
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