Dan Schwent 's Reviews > The Man Who Was Thursday

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
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Oct 08, 10

Read in October, 2008

The Man Who Was Thursday reads like P.G. Wodehouse writing from a Phillip K. Dick plot while on a Nyquil bender. It begins with two poets arguing in the park about whether poetry is more akin to law or anarchy. It turns out that the poet espousing anarchy is actually a member of an anarchist soceity and takes Syme, the other poet, to their meeting place to prove it after a vow of secrecy. Syme is actually a member of an anti-anarchy branch of Scotland Yard and usurps Gregory's spot as the new Thursday in the Council.

Gabriel Symes tells the story of his own recruitment into Scotland Yard by a philosopher policeman and goes on to infiltrate the Council of Days, each one taking the name of a day of the week.

None of the Council members are what they seemed at first glance. About halfway through, I was convinced none of them were actually anarchists.

I'm a little torn between whether I like this better than The Napoleon of Notting Hill. They probably really shouldn't be compared since they're different kinds of books.

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Reading Progress

10/21/2008 page 0
0.0%
10/21/2008 page 5
2.53% "Unsure of progress because I'm reading it on Gutenberg. Two poets are arguing over whether poetry is more akin to law or chaos."
10/21/2008 page 20
10.1% "On Chapter Three. Really diggin this so far."
10/21/2008 page 30
15.15% "On Chapter Four. Great stuff. "I can't tell the police you are an anarchist. You can't tell the anarchists
I'm a policeman.""
10/21/2008 page 74
37.37% "On Chapter Four. Great stuff. "I can't tell the police you are an anarchist. You can't tell the anarchists
I'm a policeman.""
10/21/2008 page 102
51.52% "On Chapter Six. Thursday just met the other six."
10/22/2008 page 114
57.58% "On Chapter Seven. Crazy stuff."
10/22/2008 page 129
65.15% "On Chapter Eight. Crazy stuff."
10/22/2008 page 145
73.23% "On Chapter Nine. Phillip K. Dick must have read this."
10/22/2008 page 145
73.23% "On Chapter Ten. Phillip K. Dick must have read this."
10/22/2008 page 187
94.44% "Chapter 11"
10/22/2008 page 187
94.44% "Chapter 12"
10/22/2008 page 200
100% "Chapter 13"
10/22/2008 page 200
100% "Chapter 14 - That's who I thought Sunday was."
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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message 1: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent In retrospect, this surpassed The Napoleon of Notting Hill and became my favorite Chesterton.


Nancy This story blew me away, but I'm not sure I really got it. It's one of those unforgettable books, so maybe it's time to revisit it.


message 3: by Kemper (new) - added it

Kemper Hmmmm.. Nyquil bender.... Tastes like coma....


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Kemper wrote: "Hmmmm.. Nyquil bender.... Tastes like coma...."

I always thought Nyquil and Jaegermeister tasted suspiciously similar.


message 5: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Nancy wrote: "This story blew me away, but I'm not sure I really got it. It's one of those unforgettable books, so maybe it's time to revisit it."

I'm doing to read it again one of these days. I'm pretty sure I missed some of the finer points.


message 6: by Kemper (new) - added it

Kemper Dan wrote: "Kemper wrote: "Hmmmm.. Nyquil bender.... Tastes like coma...."

I always thought Nyquil and Jaegermeister tasted suspiciously similar."


Now that I think about it, I've never seen Nyquil and Jaegermeister together at the same place and time. Are they really the same substance? It would explain a lot. Kind of like, "Gee, Mr. Kent, you just missed Superman. Again."


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I picture a pipe coming out of the wall in a factory someplace that forks and the same liquid goes in both bottles. Kind of like the Duff brewery in that episode where Homer ditched work.


Miriam This is my favorite Chesterton, too (so far)! I used to buy extra copies and press them on my friends, but then I realized they all thought it was crazy.

The first time I had Jaegermeister I thought it was exactly like cough syrup. What's the point? Incidentally, the other night I coughed while trying to swallow some Nyquil and it came out my nose. Now I know how they do the ectoplasm effects in those possession films.


message 9: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I read most of Thursday online on Gutenberg because I couldn't wait until I got home from work to finish it.

That's awful. Didn't the Nyquil burn since it's mostly alcohol?


Miriam Why, yes. Yes it did. Don't try this at home, kids.


message 11: by Prongs (new) - added it

Prongs As I am reading this I coudldn't help but think 'I wonder if in some alternative universe Chesterton and Wodehouse would have been good friends.' It does read alot like him! Glad someone else picked up on that.


message 12: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Prongs wrote: "As I am reading this I coudldn't help but think 'I wonder if in some alternative universe Chesterton and Wodehouse would have been good friends.' It does read alot like him! Glad someone else pick..."

I could easily see Wodehouse being Wooster and Chesterton being his Jeeves.


message 13: by Prongs (new) - added it

Prongs Dan wrote: "Prongs wrote: "As I am reading this I coudldn't help but think 'I wonder if in some alternative universe Chesterton and Wodehouse would have been good friends.' It does read alot like him! Glad so..."

Right? I almost lost it at 'I don't often have the luck to have a dream like this. It is new to me for a nightmare to lead me to a lobster. It is commonly the other way.' Pure Wodehouse.


message 14: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent It's been about two years since I read Thursday but I still remember the lobster line. Napoleon of Notting Hill is another good Chesterton read.


Melissa I wish that it would've stayed about the Council of Days & not turned spiritual in the end. I have a good time trying to figure out where it could've ended up had it been about ordinary mortal men who were (or most likely were not) anarchists.


message 16: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Melissa wrote: "I wish that it would've stayed about the Council of Days & not turned spiritual in the end. I have a good time trying to figure out where it could've ended up had it been about ordinary mortal men ..."

Speculating on which of the Council were or weren't anarchists was my favorite part of the story, too.


message 17: by John (new)

John Lambert Great review! That pretty well sums it up.


message 18: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent John wrote: "Great review! That pretty well sums it up."

Thanks! I'm about due for a re-read


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