Welcome to the Short Classics Book Club! This is a live discussion group held each month on Zoom to discuss the shortest of the greatest books of all time.
Title: The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare | Author: G.K. Chesterton
Author Bio: G.K. Chesterton,in full Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (born May 29, 1874, London, England—died June 14, 1936, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire), English critic and author of verse, essays, novels, and short stories, known also for his exuberant personality and rotund figure.
Book Description: G. K. Chesterton's surreal masterpiece is a psychological thriller that centers on seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London who call themselves by the names of the days of the week. Chesterton explores the meanings of their disguised identities in what is a fascinating mystery and, ultimately, a spellbinding allegory.
- The novel's humor is evident from the very first chapters. Was there a particular funny scene or line of dialogue that stood out to you?
- Allusions to British culture abound in the book: Ally Sloper, Joseph Chamberlain, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Did you come across other interesting references or names, which might not be familiar to an American audience?
- In Chapters 5-8, we are introduced to a host of strange characters: the madman Gogol, the paralytic Professor de Worms, the fashionable Marquis de St. Eustache, the enigmatic Dr. Bull, and of course, President Sunday. Was there a single character's description you especially enjoyed?
- Has there been a point in the story so far which has caused you to question whether this is a realistic or fantastic novel?
- Did you detect any other cultural or religious symbols such as the almond tree mentioned above?
- If you had to describe the duel between Syme and the Marquis in one word (or subsequent chase) what would it be?
- Have you encountered British slang words or expressions from the era that gave you pause?
- Would you classify The Man Who Was Thursday as a mystery, conspiracy novel, or something else?
SDPL Short Classics Book Club