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The Man Who Knew Too Much

G. K. Chesterton

Book Overview: 

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an influential and prolific English writer of the early 20th century. He was a journalist, a poet and a novelist. He wrote 80 books and 200 short stories in addition to his other work. He is perhaps best remembered for his ‘Father Brown’ stories.

‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ has some similarities to the Father Brown stories: Horne Fisher the eponymous hero is connected and indeed related to many of the high-ranking politicians of his age and thus ‘knows too much’ about the background of the mysteries in which he becomes embroiled and which he unravels.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . the thinning smoke, looked into the hollow shell of the ancient tower. Except for Wilson, staring around him, there was nobody there.

The inside of the tower was a single empty room, with nothing but a plain wooden chair and a table on which were pens, ink and paper, and the candlestick. Halfway up the high wall there was a rude timber platform under the upper window, a small loft which was more like a large shelf. It was reached only by a ladder, and it seemed to be as bare as the bare walls. Wilson completed his survey of the place and then went and stared at the things on the table. Then he silently pointed with his lean forefinger at the open page of the large notebook. The writer had suddenly stopped writing, even in the middle of a word.

"I said it was like an explosion," said Sir Walter Carey at last. "And really the man himself seems to have suddenly exploded. But he has blown himself up somehow without touching the tow. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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...more

“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...more

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...more

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, s...more

As always an awesome and unique story by Chesterton!

Lo que me ha gustado de este libro no es el argumento de los distintos relatos policíacos (es un libro de relatos), sino la sutiieza del pensamiento de Chesterton, que va dejando por aquí y por allá en frases memorables con las que se podría editar un glosario, si es que no está ya hecho.

Ας γίνει ξεκάθαρο από την αρχή ότι Ο άνθρωπος που ήξερε πολλά του G.K. Chesterton ουδεμία σχέση έχει με την ομώνυμη ταινία του Alfred Hitchcock. Άρα ο James Stewart (πρωταγωνιστής της αμερικανικής βερσιόν του αξέχαστου θρίλερ) δεν είναι η κινηματογραφική ενσάρκωση του ήρωα του βιβλίου του Chest...more

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 mir...more

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 h...more

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 ex...more

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