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G. K. Chesterton

Book Overview: 

The flying blast struck London just where it scales the northern heights, terrace above terrace, as precipitous as Edinburgh. It was round about this place that some poet, probably drunk, looked up astonished at all those streets gone skywards, and (thinking vaguely of glaciers and roped mountaineers) gave it the name of Swiss Cottage, which it has never been able to shake off. At some stage of those heights a terrace of tall gray houses, mostly empty and almost as desolate as the Grampians, curved round at the western end, so that the last building, a boarding establishment called “Beacon House,” offered abruptly to the sunset its high, narrow and towering termination, like the prow of some deserted ship.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .With one of his incalculable motions he sprang back and burst open the doors into the garden. At the same time also, with one of his gestures that never seemed at the instant so unconventional as they were, he stretched out his hand to Mary Gray, and led her out on to the lawn as if for a dance.

The French windows, thus flung open, let in an evening even lovelier than that of the day before. The west was swimming with sanguine colours, and a sort of sleepy flame lay along the lawn. The twisted shadows of the one or two garden trees showed upon this sheen, not gray or black, as in common daylight, but like arabesques written in vivid violet ink on some page of Eastern gold. The sunset was one of those festive and yet mysterious conflagrations in which common things by their colours remind us of costly or curious things. The slates upon the sloping roof burned like the plumes of a vast peacock, in every mysterious blend of blue and green. The red-br. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book manages to be always proclaiming “everyone just have fun” yet simultaneously shouting “get off my lawn!” CK Chesterton’s 1912 novel, Manalive, is a plea for living life with joy, to wake ourselves up from the drudgery and social formalities and enjoy the one life we have to live while also

G.K. Chesterton really outdoes himself in this book.
"I must be sent down,' Smith said, 'and the people must not be told the truth.'
"'And why not?' asked the other.
"Because I mean to follow your advice,' answered the massive youth, 'I mean to keep the remaining shots for people in the shameful state

This is quite possibly my favorite book. The "message," storyline, characters, and even simply the choices of descriptive phrasing and wording all champion Chesterton's favorite topic- the complete enjoyment of the "experiment of being."

This is probably not the best choice for an introduction to Ch

I keep thinking I need to read more Chesterton, and especially his fiction. And then I read a book like this and I think, “I’m not smart enough to read Chesterton.” The premise behind this book is one that seems normal, and maybe even dull, on the surface. Carried out through the novel, though, it w

Chesterton is definitely my favorite author - he has brought life to my Christian walk. He has a fantastic understanding of the abundance of life that is present in creation, does a great job pointing out the falsity of modern nihilist thought, and is a genius as he uses paradox to illustrate many o

The first time I picked up this book, I was working in a library. I flipped it open and found this conversation:

". . . But the cold fact remains: imprudent marriages do lead to long unhappiness and disappointment - you've got used to your drinks and things - I shan't be pretty much longer-"


I prefer Chesterton's non-fiction to his fiction, but this was still fun. His fiction tends to be more scattered that it needs to be, but it was still worthwhile reading. His pithy way of putting things is always present, and the plot/conceit was great. He just needed an editor who 1. understood him

Re-read 2018-08-02

As a Chesterton fan Manalive is one of my all time favorite novels of his and really one of my all time favorite novels. This story Innocent Smith seems to me to often be the story of G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton was a man deeply thankful for all things and would go beyond stopping

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