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The Napoleon of Notting Hill

G. K. Chesterton

Book Overview: 

While the novel is humorous (one instance has the King sitting on top of an omnibus and speaking to it as to a horse: “Forward, my beauty, my Arab,” he said, patting the omnibus encouragingly, “fleetest of all thy bounding tribe”), it is also an adventure story: Chesterton is not afraid to let blood be drawn in his battles, fought with sword and halberd in the London streets, and Wayne thinks up a few ingenious strategies; and, finally, the novel is philosophical, considering the value of one man’s actions and the virtue of respect for one’s enemies.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Kindly help me on with this coat." And he held it out.

"But, your Majesty," said the officer, after a moment's bewilderment and manipulation, "you're putting it on with the tails in front."

"The reversal of the obvious," said the King, calmly, "is as near as we can come to ritual with our imperfect apparatus. Lead on."

The rest of that afternoon and evening was to Barker and Lambert a nightmare, which they could not properly realise or recall. The King, with his coat on the wrong way, went towards the streets that were awaiting him, and the old Kensington Palace which was the Royal residence. As he passed small groups of men, the groups turned into crowds, and gave forth sounds which seemed strange in welcoming an autocrat. Barker walked behind, his brain reeling, and, as the crowds grew thicker and thicker, the sounds became more and more unusual. And when he had reached the great[Pg 61] market-place opposite the church, Barker knew t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Broadly speaking, this 1904 imagining of the world of the late 20th century and beyond can be called science fiction, but it's strictly a speculation in the social, not the technological, sciences; Chesterton had little interest in technology, --and, indeed, posits a future with no new technology, i

The first chapter of Notting Hill lays out the author’s theory about the “art of prophecy.” Prophets observe the fads and fallacies of their own eras and project their logical conclusions into the future. Thus, H.G. Wells envisions a secular, scientific utopia where religion and superstition are ban

Novela inclasificable. Una especie de distopía satirico-político-filosófica en clave de humor subrealista, con unos toques muy MontyPythonescos.
Me ha resultado demasiado británica, demasiado absurda y demasiado aburrida.
A pesar de parecer muy original, inteligente y divertida, no le he pillado el

3.5 stars. To read Chesterton is to get a valuable glimpse into the good old days when one didn't need an editor in order to have a book published. I think it's clear that the man had ADHD and/or autism. This is everything you would come to expect from him: wacky, weird, and wonderful; a riot of int

Let me start this review by stating how surprised I am to know that none of the people on my friends list here have read this book. I mean, this has to be one of the best debut novels ever written in the 20th century by a not-so-unknown English author & yet this book fails to make even the to-read l

This was G.K. Chesterton's first novel, written in 1904. The book is a comedic satire making fun of the need for power and war. While many of the place names are difficult for most non-Londoners to understand Chesterton's basic ideas are timeless-the futility of war and the difficulty of challenging

My first Chesterton. Won't be my last. But boy, this is a strange book. His humor is weird and wonderful, and his prose is great. The premise is totally original. It's like he looked into my mind, jotted down all the ideas I'm wrestling with (patriotism, city v country, rationality v mysticism, what

The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton was his first 'novel', originally published in 1904. I have tried other of Chesterton's books; The Man Who Was Thursday and a couple of his Father Brown books. I really have a hard time wrapping my mind around his writing style.

Notting Hill was a 'sat

A very strange book. I can honestly say that I've never read anything quite like it before and probably never will. It's a rather surreal story that is equal parts philosophical allegory, fantasy, dystopian fiction and satire. It's all of these things and nothing. Totally original in its genius; tot

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