The Man Who Was Thursday

I have just renewed my enjoyment of G.K. Chesterton by reading yet again “The Man who was Thursday”. The subtitle is important – a nightmare.  It plays on our worst fears in particular the fear that the government may be usurped by a tyrant or tyrants.  Chesterton would not have been surprised by our  vulnerability to conspiracy theory.

I am not going to spoil the story for you but it can be confusing if the scene is not set.  It is a nightmare but also a detective story, in which the detective puts his life on the line to defeat an extraordinary group of bomb throwing anarchists.

Along the way Chesterton makes us think about the virtues of a “Christian” society and how those virtues work and he contrasts them with those of a world of Nietzschean anarchists. There is much to think about and the book could be a clever way to engage out brighter students who are giving up on the Christian story and accepting meaninglessness.