Innocence Of Father Brown Paperback – Aug 5 1987
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Chesterton knew how to make the most of a detective story -- Jorge Luis Borges --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England, in 1874. He went on to study art at the Slade School, and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are "The Man Who Was Thursday", a metaphysical thriller, and "The Everlasting Man", a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922, he wrote mainly on religious topics such as "Orthodoxy" and "Heretics". Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown". Chesterton died in 1936 at the age of 62. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
But appearances, G.K. Chesterton reminds us, are deceptive. "The Innocence of Father Brown" is the first collection of stories about the kindly, eccentric detective who has an uncanny cleverness that nobody guesses. Chesterton wraps each story in his warm, sometimes entrancing writing and a very odd assortment of crimes.
The first story opens with French detective Valentin on the hunt for the great thief Flambeau, and along the way encounters a little priest who is telling people about his "silver with blue stones." Turns out that the little priest is the target of Flambeau's crime, and the priceless sapphire cross he's carrying is about to be stolen -- but Valentin discovers that Father Brown is a lot cleverer than he seems.
In the stories that follow, Father Brown is involved in a series of strange crimes -- a cold-blooded beheading from religious bigotry, "a cheery cosy English middle-class crime" for Christmas, an Italian prince's invitation ends with revenge, a mysterious fall, a murderer in the open that nobody sees, precious gems, headless skeletons, and a suicide note that reads: "I die by my own hand; yet I die murdered!"
Chesterton's mysteries are often ignored next to Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, which is odd when you consider his uncanny knack for making mysteries that are simple, yet incredibly hard to figure out. And each mystery is accompanied by little insights into human nature -- such as the one man whom you could see going to a crime scene, but wouldn't notice.Read more ›
This is the first collection of Fr. Brown stories. All were previously published in magazines before they were collected in book form. While Chesterton is known as a great Catholic theologian, these first stories were written before his conversion. This being my very first time reading Chesterton, I must say I was not entirely impressed with his theology. Fr. Brown believes, rightly so, that his job is saving souls; however, the legal aspects and worldly justice of the perpetrators, he believes, is of no concern to him. He leaves that to the police, does not always tell the police everything he knows and the stories often end with us being told who committed the crime and why but before any police intervention arrives. I found this odd at first and didn't always agree with Fr. Brown's theology, feeling he took the role of "judge" which is not a priest's place. Only God's. We can see Chesterton getting the feel for his characters and his writing style in these stories as he wavers back and forth between having a narrator who speaks directly to the reader and one who is a simple 3rd person omnipotent. Towards the end he seems to discard the actively participating narrator in favour of the omnipotent one which I was glad for in the end. As to the mysteries themselves, I enjoyed quite much. Rather simple cases where Fr. Brown and his detective friend, an ex-thief, Flambeau, use intuition and skills Fr. B. has learned in the confessional on human character to solve the murders. Chesterton has some original ideas and some of his tales are rather gruesome, for the times, making them fun, too.Read more ›