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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,015 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: G. K. Chesterton Narrator: Ron Keith Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781461809807
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Writing in England at the turn of the 20th century, G.K. Chesterton was dubbed the “prince of paradox” for addressing serious questions with his light, whimsical style. In this classic allegory, which has captivated generations since it was first published in 1908, Chesterton tackles such profound concepts as honor, truth, and God with insightful humor and colorful enigma. The seven members of the secret Central Anarchist Council are sworn to destroy the world. For security reasons, each member has named himself after a day of the week. But Thursday is not at all whom he appears to be. Instead of a revolutionary young poet, he has been unmasked as a Scotland Yard detective. Now the other six anarchists are in a state of chaos and can’t trust anyone.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ms_prue | 2/18/2014

    " If you believe, as Mr Chesterton does, that Satan is a redhead, you will enjoy this anti-anarchist, overtly Christian tale of pursuit and realisation. Personally, I read it for the lulz, and I was not disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Perry | 2/15/2014

    " The Man Who Was Thursday is probably the best book I've ever read. On the surface it's about secret police who hunt anarchists, plus a lot of other trademarks of a thriller like double-agents and characters in disguise. But what really won out for me was how the book has this whole funhouse mirror quality to it. Like, it's totally natural for characters to walk crookedly down alleys or have distorted faces or...well, there's just a lot of weird touches which in other books would come off as supernatural, but in this book blend right into the fabric of reality. Loved this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ralph | 2/15/2014

    " The fact that the reader is NOT omniscient adds to the reader's suspense as to what is actually happening. Gradually, more is revealed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 2/14/2014

    " As classics go, a fairly contemporary read. Not sure of a great grander meaning but there are some fairly quotable and thought-provoking sections. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pnyxis | 2/10/2014

    " Extraordinario, un libro muy recomendable, una novela que atrapa y que cuenta con un gran transfondo. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott | 2/10/2014

    " The last third got too preachy for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derek Bridge | 2/8/2014

    " A nightmare is the vehicle for a surreal and comic exploration of order and disorder. Full of allusions and allegories that were probably too clever for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefan | 2/8/2014

    " Written in 1904. Crazy story around the infiltration of an anarchist organization by a police officer. Good suspense. Some interesting philosophical thoughts throughout the book. Some tasty dialogues too. The ending is quite lame though... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 H | 2/6/2014

    " I found this book quite droll and was pretty caught up in it until the end of the balloon chase. Then it felt as if what had seemed like a cracking good political story that called to mind Orwell's 1984 and aspects of the second Downey/Law Sherlock Holmes movie suddenly changed to a humorless allegory. I'll have to think about the book some more and perhaps reread it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cherise | 2/4/2014

    " I'm still trying to decide what I think about this book, but there is one thing I know for certain: it was brilliant. The plot is riveting, the descriptions are vivid, the characters come alive in front of you, the philosophical thoughts interwoven with the story are incredibly thought-provoking, and the prose is beautiful. Yes, the end of the book (and some portions in the middle) are a little bewildering. But I have come to this conclusion: one must read Chesterton for the journey, not for the end of the book. And with that thought in mind, this book is spectacular. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Mosley | 2/1/2014

    " Spies, intrigue, and a surprise ending that might, if you let it, make a human being out of you. The only proper review of this book is to exhort you to read it, if you haven't, and to think about it (and perhaps re-read it) if you have. Accolades fall short. Read this book and discover how a poet becomes Thursday before becoming himself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elliott | 1/30/2014

    " I enjoyed this breathless and surreal Christian apologetic, even if (and perhaps mostly because) I didn't realize until the end that was what it would be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darcy | 1/28/2014

    " I am not sure I got this book. I think I may have to read it again someday. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jerry Stroh | 1/28/2014

    " No wonder this is one of Neil Gaiman's top-10 favorite books; it's wonderful. Want to give it 4.25 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 1/24/2014

    " wild story... still trying to figure it all out! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 1/24/2014

    " Was really good until that last 20 pages or so. The forced Christian metaphors really threw a kink into what made the rest of the book interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maura | 1/19/2014

    " Now this is a worthy read. Not that it's long -- i read it all last night in about 3.5 hrs. It's a thriller, an adventure that's in the same category as the Bourne Identity (well, at least the movie; i haven't gotten to those books yet). Many twists, not always surprising and yet still enjoyable. Neil Gaiman referred to it as a "novel of genius", and when i saw that my dad owned it, i immediately swiped it for my own reading pleasure. i'm quite glad to have done so! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/17/2014

    " Beginning a bit slow and the prose took some adjusting to, but a twisting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Fritts | 1/14/2014

    " So, for anyone who's read Orthodoxy . . . I discovered that TMWWT is a fictionalized version of the chapter "Ethics of Elfland." Which happened to be my favorite chapter in the book. Needless to say, because of this, Thursday was a fantastic read, displaying some of (imo) Chesterton's most exemplary writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 hilsongirl | 1/13/2014

    " best book i ever read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 1/13/2014

    " Actually, this is more 3.5 stars (and would probably earn more on a second reading). Chesterton throws some "curve balls" for the reader; the ending was not what I was expecting. Interesting, lush allegory that encourages the reader to really think, not only about social problems, but also about spiritual ones. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Scott | 1/9/2014

    " The last third got too preachy for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie Jensen | 1/8/2014

    " The subtitle "A Nightmare" has to be kept in mind, and then it makes more sense. Interesting take on philosophical confusion, but the end doesn't feel very satisfying. Maybe that's part of it though, dreamlike. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 1/1/2014

    " Bizarre but interesting story. At first, this seems to be a straightforward suspense thriller of police versus anarchists, but as the story progresses, it gets stranger and stranger. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 12/29/2013

    " Funny, thought-provoking, thriller-ish . . . somewhere at a weird intersection of Wodehouse, C.S. Lewis, Kafka, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World. Worth reading if you can withstand willful silliness and Christian allegory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Bubar | 12/28/2013

    " I think I know the end by the discovery of the Professor. I was right but totally flummoxed as to the reasoning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike Horne | 12/27/2013

    " I actually took this off of my favorite books (on Facebook) after reading it again. I thought it was just OK. I am going to have to reread all my G.K. Chesterton. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jelle de Jong | 12/23/2013

    " bizar plot, doet denken aan that hideous strength van Lewis, moeilijk te begrijpen waar de verschillende figuren voor staan; 0 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Albert | 12/22/2013

    " Ridiculous and wonderful. Fantastic in every sense of the word. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ioana | 12/19/2013

    " The descriptions are amazing, and it is a quick read, although not an easy read. I still don't really understand many things, but it is beautifully written and very interesting, but not necessarily focused on logic. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ian Russell | 12/11/2013

    " Intriguing title, interesting cover art, irritating prose. I would say I lost interest in it half-way but I don't think I really acquired any beyond the cover.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/11/2013

    " I'm so confused by the ending (the last two chapters or so). I must be too sleepy to read it properly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie Jensen | 11/22/2013

    " The subtitle "A Nightmare" has to be kept in mind, and then it makes more sense. Interesting take on philosophical confusion, but the end doesn't feel very satisfying. Maybe that's part of it though, dreamlike. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karalalala | 11/16/2013

    " I read this every 2 years, and love it more every time. It's like a re-occurring dream. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany Dean | 11/10/2013

    " My favourite book of all time: a tale of anarchists, weekdays, spies and disguises. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura E. Hall | 11/10/2013

    " "The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare is a novel by G. K. Chesterton, first published in 1908. The book is sometimes referred to as a metaphysical thriller . . . The novel has been described as 'one of the hidden hinges of twentieth-century writing, the place where, before our eyes, the nonsense-fantastical tradition of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear pivots and becomes the nightmare-fantastical tradition of Kafka and Borges.'" "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Taylor | 11/8/2013

    " Curious mystery turns into an allegory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 11/4/2013

    " oh what a fun little book! Absolutely charming. I may need a copy of this one on the shelf! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emre Ergin | 10/31/2013

    " that was a surprise ending. not only from the point of story, but it changed even the genre of the book. even though i am surprised, i am not happy about that, feel much more like was deceived. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 10/26/2013

    " Now, this is a book to read! Why I never read this in high school or as an English graduate class is beyond me, especially with an emphasis on the dystopia novels. Witty, intelligent and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl Ostberg | 10/13/2013

    " Really interesting lively energetic read. Has a certain almost schizophrenic style and humorous energy that found very appealing. Maybe its my ignorance of christian culture but I didn't realize the religious bent until the very end, never really felt preachy to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Brakebill | 10/10/2013

    " This might be the first REAL literature I ever read on my own. I might have read it bc a girl I liked read it but still, I really enjoyed it though "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaretmary | 9/8/2013

    " This is an excellent 'thriller' by G. K. Chesterton. The ending is peculiar and difficult to understand, however. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rosemary | 9/4/2013

    " I read this book because I had heard so much about it, but I was quite disappointed. There was some cleverness in the story and yet the ending was indeed "a nightmare." For the time in which it was written, such surrealism must have been striking. I found it all a bit tiresome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donald Plugge | 8/28/2013

    " The satire is pre Catch-22, yet in the same vain. Perhaps it is more kafkaesque than Heller. The anarchistic ad absurdum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi Bash | 8/26/2013

    " Bizzar, in the spirit of all that is wacky and somewhat confusing. Still not sure I understand it but thoroughly enjoyed the ride! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew W.m. | 6/20/2013

    " A fantastic work of genuinely subversive satire which fizzes through its short fuse to a superb final conflagration "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 5/9/2013

    " Book club selection - yeah Scotland Yard! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Clarissa | 4/23/2013

    " I had a hard time with this one. Every time a person was called Thursday, Sunday or whatever day, my brain kept flashing to Reservoir Dogs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Princely | 4/23/2013

    " I don't know... the plot got to be a little repetitive. I can see the points where others admired this book, but it's not one of my favorites. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelli | 4/4/2013

    " I got through about 5 pages and decided it wasn't worth it. At least I heard most of the other book club girls didn't get it either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 3/27/2013

    " Marvellous - vintage derring-do overlaid with opiates... that conceals an message, a story of good an evil as relevant today as at any time through human history. The plot twists and turns and the denouement was unexpected - or was it? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie Anna | 2/7/2013

    " Although this book is quite thought provoking, the storyline is confusing and boring. The best part of the book were the final two pages, and even after finishing those pages I was still slightly confused and annoyed at the whole story. Would not recommend this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 12/21/2012

    " One of my favorite books ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. Alfred | 10/19/2012

    " I don't want to do a "spoiler." So I'll just say that this book is scary and funny and beautiful all at once and that you should read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elliott | 9/2/2012

    " I enjoyed this breathless and surreal Christian apologetic, even if (and perhaps mostly because) I didn't realize until the end that was what it would be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 8/31/2012

    " Marvellous - vintage derring-do overlaid with opiates... that conceals an message, a story of good an evil as relevant today as at any time through human history. The plot twists and turns and the denouement was unexpected - or was it? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christen | 8/14/2012

    " Not a fluff piece you take to the beach. This is a book that's going to challenge you at every turn. For those times when you want an entertaining plot that makes you smarter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy Stewart | 7/20/2012

    " I didn't finish this, but I appreciate it for the period it was written in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janitor-X | 6/29/2012

    " Like C.S. Lewis for adults! I mean that in a good way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 eva | 5/19/2012

    " enjoyably weird & unexpected. amory blaine read this book, "which he liked without understanding," when he was 18 years old. i have the same opinion at 34. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jon | 5/7/2012

    " Really good book. Enjoyed it. Listened to an audio version of the book that was read by Simon Vance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darcy | 4/24/2012

    " I am not sure I got this book. I think I may have to read it again someday. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 NancyL Luckey | 4/5/2012

    " Very well written - but a little far-fetched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claude Graves | 3/23/2012

    " First fiction work I've read by Chesterton, thoroughly impressed. It was a wild ride; I only wish it was longer,and ending left me a bit confused, but oh, it was good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 3/3/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. It was bizarre but definitedly meaningful. It left me with that distinctly Chestertonian effect of satisfied puzzlement--if that makes sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jelle de Jong | 1/22/2012

    " bizar plot, doet denken aan that hideous strength van Lewis, moeilijk te begrijpen waar de verschillende figuren voor staan; 0 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 12/12/2011

    " This is the first of Chesterton's books I've ever read. Halfway through, I couldn't decide if it was brilliant or baloney. By the end, I decided it was brilliant. He presented an idea that I'm still mulling over, two weeks after I've finished the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 12/4/2011

    " One of the shortest and sweetest books I've read. And that's that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evan Haffenden | 12/3/2011

    " Such an engaging read. The characters were well developed, as well as an intricate, yet simple story. Very easy to follow, while twisting and turning at every point. A must read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 11/10/2011

    " A somewhat dated "nightmare," but the language of the telling is amusing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 11/1/2011

    " Solid Chestertonian fun, with rich comedic value that reoccurs with cyclical hysteria. First anarchism, then fascism, communism, and now terrorism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keren | 10/16/2011

    " One of my all time favourite books. The writing is beautiful, to be savoured. I also like the paradoxes too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emre Ergin | 10/13/2011

    " that was a surprise ending. not only from the point of story, but it changed even the genre of the book. even though i am surprised, i am not happy about that, feel much more like was deceived. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monica Buescher | 10/7/2011

    " Definitely entertaining and nicely written, though I'm still a little confused. I think it's the type of book you read in school and then discuss the themes -- it's not exactly pleasure reading, to me. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jenmoomin | 9/21/2011

    " "bad is so bad, that we cannot but think good an accident; good is so good, that we feel certain that evil could be explained." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ralph | 9/5/2011

    " The fact that the reader is NOT omniscient adds to the reader's suspense as to what is actually happening. Gradually, more is revealed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alden | 9/1/2011

    " Trippy. Very trippy. At least, for a novel written before World War One. Interesting, perhaps less than compelling, especially since it is all more or less comprehensible on a literal level for the first three quarters, and then gets suddenly Symbolic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emre Ergin | 8/7/2011

    " that was a surprise ending. not only from the point of story, but it changed even the genre of the book. even though i am surprised, i am not happy about that, feel much more like was deceived. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bagtree | 5/13/2011

    " I don't quite know what to rate this, because the first two thirds were charmingly weird, and the ending weird in a way I did not care for at all. It was a good ride, up until it suddenly wasn't anymore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/2/2011

    " I think I liked it, but... wtf? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark | 4/29/2011

    " Curious mystery turns into an allegory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Micha | 4/27/2011

    " A fun romp full of anarchists and private police and Chesterton's sometimes-predictable but other times totally laughingly-absurd humour. The plot follows exactly the kind of course I sometimes wish my life would. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zvi | 4/23/2011

    " Peculiar, funny, and unexpectedly allegorical. The central conceit of the book (infiltrating the anarchist council) is engaging and the prose aphoristic, but the metaphysical ending left me cold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 4/6/2011

    " Weird, and left me thinking. Someone else please read this so I can talk to someone about it.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cathy | 4/2/2011

    " There is a reason it is called a nightmare - the confusion could only be justified as a dream. It does get one thinking about anarchy and government. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 aimee | 3/26/2011

    " awesome. just awesome.

    read it _now_ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 3/25/2011

    " Entertaining and goofy in an English sort of way. I liked it. The twist at the end wasn't as interesting as it could have been. Slightly disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 3/20/2011

    " Amazing story of political extremity "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 3/13/2011

    " Well done but a bit dated. I was also put off by the religious aspect of the ending.

    My first e-book! (a free one) "

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About the Author

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) was born in London. He went on to study art at the Slade School and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are The Man Who Was Thursday, a metaphysical thriller, and The Everlasting Man, a history of humankind’s spiritual progress. After his conversion to Catholicism in 1922, Chesterton wrote mainly on religious topics such as in Orthodoxy and Heretics. He is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in The Innocence of Father Brown.

About the Narrator

Ron Keith, a native of England, graduated from the University of Manchester. He has appeared in the Broadway touring production of Amadeus, in off-Broadway productions such as Hedda Gabler, My Fair Lady, and Candida, and in many regional stage productions. His television appearances include roles in One Life to Live and As the World Turns.