"A powerful picture of the loneliness and bewilderment which each of us encounters in his single-handed struggle with the universe." C. S. Lewis. Part detective story, part surreal thriller, and part social commentary, The Man Who Was Thursday is a masterpiece of literary fiction by the brilliant G. K. Chesterton. The story centers around seven anarchists in turn-of-the-century London who call themselves by the days of the week. Fearing an impending act of terrorism, Gabriel Syme is sent by Scotland Yard to infiltrate their ranks by becoming "Thursday." Elected undercover into the Central European Council of anarchists, Syme must avoid discovery and save the world from future bombings. Beyond the excitement of an elephant chase, duels, elaborate disguises, and a hot-air balloon pursuit through the streets of London, Chesterton is most interested in the battle of ideas. Indeed, his real agenda is to expose the moral relativism and parlor nihilism for the devils he believed them to be in the world of his day. Chesterton's classic novella tackles anarchy, social order, God, peace, war, religion, and human nature, somehow managing to combine them all into a delightful tale full of biting social commentary that is still relevant today.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English writer, philosopher, satirist, and social critic. During his lifetime, the prolific Chesterton wrote eighty books, several hundred poems, some two hundred short stories, four thousand essays, and several plays. He was also known as a strong debater and Christian apologist. He often took on what he considered to be the flawed philosophy of modernism found in the writings of his good friends Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. It was Shaw who once referred to Chesterton in Time magazine as "a man of colossal genius." Chesterton's writings consistently displayed wit and a sense of humor. His ingenious use of paradox in his commentaries on the leading political, economic, philosophical, and theological beliefs of his day makes his writings as relevant today as they were a century ago.