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The Man Who Knew Too Much: (G K Chesterton Masterpiece Collection)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  5,247 Ratings  ·  384 Reviews
Harold March, the rising reviewer and social critic, was walking vigorously across a great tableland of moors and commons, the horizon of which was fringed with the far-off woods of the famous estate of Torwood Park. He was a good-looking young man in tweeds, with very pale curly hair and pale clear eyes. Walking in wind and sun in the very landscape of liberty, he was sti ...more
Paperback, 126 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published 1922)
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Jonathan Terrington

G.K. Chesterton is an author who simply must be read by anyone fascinated by quality detective literature. Or literature in general for that matter. His insights into human nature, particular regarding morality, psychology and the soul or heart are profound. At the same time the mixture of wit, sarcasm, humour and paradox he weaves together is fascinatingly powerful.

To put it simply, Chesterton's writing is unique. Not unique as Mervyn Peake is unique in his word choice. Or unique in the way th
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
“Modern intelligence won't accept anything on authority. But it will accept anything without authority.”
― G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Knew Too Much


A collection of Chesterton detective stories revolving around Horne Fisher and his companion, political journalist Harold March. These stories have a lot of the same late Victorian/Edwardian flavor of Sherlock Holmes and Chesterton's own Father Brown stories. The reluctant, and moral protagonist of The Man Who Knew Too Much, however, is often forced
[Name Redacted]
Amazingly cynical and subversive detective stories, of the sort I never would have expected from Chesterton!

The titular character gives himself that monicker because he is related to / friends with nearly all the important people in Britain, and therefore knows exactly how the country is REALLY run and how the legal system REALLY works. This inspires in him a sense of fatalism and resignation, as he sees the backroom deals, cover-ups and treachery which make the world go 'round, and he solves n
Pradnya K.
I missed a clever deduction like Holmes'. I missed serene country backdrop like Christie portrays. The climax of stories are revealed in a bit unhappening way for detective stories. Why I kept going on was the writing. Loved it! I think the modern mystery novels are technically advanced and we expect the detective to be clever, unorthodox hero who twirls magic wand of sudden revelations ( like that of Patrick Jane) so it's not easy to like the Horne Fisher. Plus the stories are too short and les ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, faith, mystery
As always an awesome and unique story by Chesterton!
Madhulika Liddle
Languid, prematurely balding Horne Fisher is the man who knows too much: whether it’s about plankton or guns, the history of old houses and place names, or the sordid pasts of Britain’s most illustrious. Legends, mathematics, weapons, literature, science—Fisher knows it all like the back of his hand. And this is what makes him a fine detective: because, in the barest of crime scenes, he sees clues that escape others.

I must admit I wanted to read this book because I have a particular fondness fo
Julie Davis
Who knew these were short mystery stories instead of a long, possibly lame novel that was made into an exciting early movie in 1934 with Peter Lorre or a definitely lame 1956 movie with Doris Day singing all the time?

Not me, at least until listening to B.J. Harrison's excellent narration on The Classic Tales podcast.

These stories are great fun to listen to and occasionally solve. And even when I know whodunnit I don't know why they dunnit. Which is just as much fun to find out.
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book.
It's definitely NOT about a "sleuth" or detective or anything of the sort. Horne Fisher puzzles out various murders and mysteries incidentally, these are never his main concern, to imagine that they are would indicate the most superficial reading of the novel. He is a man mired in the politics and intrigues of his family and the upper-crust of England, each "crime" and mystery simply serves to illustrate Fisher's brilliance, the way he sees "behind" things because of his wea
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting collection of short story detective fiction. Very interesting, almost odd. But in a good way. They're short stories, so lighter on character development than a longer work, but you still pick up a pretty opinion on the main character after a couple of the stories. Almost likeable, but maybe with a little bit too much self-indulgent self-pity.

Horne Fisher is a man who knows too much. He wishes he didn't, but he does. And it's a curse. It's a curse because as he solves each case (wh
Mixed feelings. On one hand, Chesterton's prose is often lovely (this is the first I've read from him) and a few of the mysteries are quite engaging. On the other hand, his detective character, Fisher, wasn't engaging for me, and I got tired of the collection's gimmick quickly: murders are intentionally covered up, or the wrong men charged with them, because of the political situation. And while that is a probably too realistic and chilling outcome the first few times, after awhile it makes the ...more
Chris Huff
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chesterton's writing style is simultaneously cognitive and gripping. He lost me a few times (actually, quite often, but that had more to do with the dry audio version that I listened to). I regret not paying closer attention, because I missed some of the clever writing and reflections that many other reviews point out.

Although somewhat formulaic, each of the stories was interesting enough to keep one's attention in order to discover the twist. I would have liked to have read different kinds of m
I didn't much care for Wiederman's narration, which made me resort to following along or rereading certain sections in my Kindle edition in order to understand what was happening. Oh well, it was free so nothing lost!

There is something about Chesterton's writing style that I don't quite like. I noticed this before in reading some of the Father Brown stories. The plots are interesting enough yet I can't say that I like them.
Roxana-Mălina Chirilă
Very quotable, but the prose is a bit dense - dense enough, I'm afraid, that it lost me a few times. Other people don't seem to have the same issue, so maybe it's just me, reading it when I was too tired and noticing the quips rather than keeping up with the plot.

"The Man Who Knew Too Much" is a collection of short stories about a man who hangs out with politicians (and is part of a family of politicians himself) and a journalist. They solve all sorts of crimes which turn out to have political i
Jul 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure what I was expecting out of this one. I picked it off of Project Gutenberg's top 100 list thinking maybe it was related to the film of the same name. It's not, but since I've never seen the film, I'm not disappointed.

It's a series of "detective" stories that strike me as a little odd because there are very few of them that I think I might have been able to puzzle out on my own. Perhaps I'm coddled by modern authors holding my hand through every twist and leaving a phosphorescent trail o
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess this is a book that is worth some deeper research than just downloading it for free because it sounds vaguely important. And since that's clearly one of those shoulda things that never actually happen, this is going to be a poor excuse for a review.

First of all, it quickly dawned on me that it's actually a collection of short stories. A proper book would have told me that on the sleeve (and I would have promptly put it back), but ebooks are a mysterious entity without sleeves. ("Wait a m
Ivan Damjanović
Osam whodunit priča smještenih u mikrosvemir gdje centralnu figuru predstavlja naslovni ’čovjek koji je previše znao’- Horne Fisher uz svog sidekicka, tj. prijatelja Harolda Marcha (političkog novinara i društvenog kritičara- piščev alter ego, a i Fisher ima autorovih karakteristika, tj. autobiografskih crta). Fisher ima rodbinu u samom vrhu engleske politike (dva bratića i ujak su ministri te premijer), pa eto kruga radnje.
Riječ je, vjerojatno, o prvoj krimi ligi: Chestertonove krimiće iznimno
Sophie Narey (Bookreview- aholic)
Author: G.K Chesterton

I found this version for free on Amazon Kindle and thought I would give it a try as I like detective novels. This is a collection of his novels that revolve around the character of Horne Fisher, the writing style of G.K Chesterton is what kept my attention and kept me hooked on the stories. Horne Fisher isn't a character who is easy to like and get along with as he isn't like the detectives we are now used too. I found that the stories were too short and
In the same vein as the "Father Brown" mysteries, only with Horne Fisher - the man who knows too much - as the super-sleuth. That idea of knowing too much - about human nature, and about certain humans in particular - is carried throughout, and adds depth to the otherwise lighthearted mysteries. I liked these more than the "Father Brown" stories, and am impressed by the diversity of Chesterton's writings.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and enjoyable short stories
Sean O
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chesterton is more famous for his Father Brown detective stories, but this collection of tales about Horne Fisher is Chesterton's attempt to make a cynical Sherlock.

Fisher knows too much, and can literally "blow it all apart" with the things he knows about politics, society, and human nature.

He weaves a crooked line through the several tales, trying to obtain justice from an unjust society. Keeping things hidden for the greater good.

Is he successful? Yes. It's an interesting concept and Chest
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of eight mystery tales featuring detective Horn Fisher was enjoyable but doesn’t stand up to the quality or intricacy of stories written by the great mystery authors such as Christie, Poe, or Doyle.
This is a collection of eight short stories about a self-proclaimed man who knew too much Horne Fisher. His analytical skills are rival those of Sherlock Holmes; he also has a trusted sidekick like a proper private investigator. His Dr. Watson is a journalist Harold March. What is the catch? Fisher stumbles upon crimes in high society and he really knows too much do try doing something against each culprit whose identity he is able to figure out all the time without failing. These people are unt ...more
Ellen Trautner
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is good, but not what I expected at all! I had seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name (the one starring Jimmy Stewart) and thought this would be a suspenseful story and a boy would get kidnapped because his dad unwittingly overheard criminals talking, and then the mom sings "Que Sera Sera" and the boy is found. (Oh, um, spoiler alert for the movie.)

Luckily, no spoiler alert needed for the book, because it's nothing like that at all! It's a series of short stories that have myster
Although billed as detective stories, these are instead a collection of tales of political satire. The Man Who Knew Too Much is Horne Fisher, who is related to or knows most of the British ruling/political class. Although a series of murders take place, nothing is ever done about them because of who is involved with each of them, and the consequences of letting the public know what they have done.

Chesterton was not a socialist, but he did have a feel for the common man and his struggles, and it
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eight short stories with a detective unlike many others, because this one knows a little too much about the matters that he finds himself in, and that sometimes can be a problem, believe it or not!

With his usual fluid and clean style, G.K. Chesterton gives us different tales as he did in his many Father Brown stories – this is a terrific read and since they are short tales, you can read them over breakfast, commuting, at lunch or a quiet moment when you’re just need a little something special fo
Josh Hamacher
I was expecting a collection of Holmesian mystery stories. Instead I was faced with what I assume is social satire, but of an age and a nation I'm not familiar with. The prose is dense, overly descriptive, and to my mind inelegant. The characters are one-dimensional and utterly unbelievable. I can't say I actively disliked this book, as parts of it were clever and entertaining, but finishing it definitely took a certain amount of willpower.
A collection of eight short mysteries, "whodunits", all connected by the same characters Horne Fisher and Harold March. Some of the short mysteries are better than others, a few quite defy belief and some are not politically correct by any means. The Face In The Target and The Vengence of the Statue were the two stronger mysteries in my opinion.

Not a great deal of characterisation, but wonderful for atmosphere, time and place.
Laurel Hicks
Eight stories featuring the title character, Home Fisher, a perceptive solver of crimes who does not indict his criminals, because he knows too much of the background story and the dangers into which the nation would fall if certain things were revealed. The stories:

"The Face in the Target"
"The Vanishing Prince"
"The Soul of the Schoolboy"
"The Bottomless Well"
"The Hole in the Wall"
"The Fad of the Fisherman"
"The Fool of the Family"
"The Vengeance of the Statue"
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eight short stories involving Home Fisher. Fisher is a natural detective with outstanding logic and reasoning skills. Like most dectives in stories from the 1920's, he has a faithful sidekick who assists him.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by G K Chesterton 4 6 Jun 03, 2014 07:33PM  
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Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was born in London, educated at St. Paul’s, and went to art school at University College London. In 1900, he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to 200 more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse, fi ...more
“Modern intelligence won't accept anything on authority. But it will accept anything without authority.” 14 likes
“You know I always liked you," said Fisher, quietly, "but I also respect you, which is not always the same thing. You may possibly guess that I like a good many people I don't respect. Perhaps it is my tragedy, perhaps it is my fault. But you are very different, and I promise you this: that I will never try to keep you as somebody to be liked, at the price of your not being respected.” 4 likes
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