Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Man Who Was Thursday - Revistited

Hello everyone,

Welcome to our first long termed discussion. Our book is "The Man Who Was Thursday," by G.K. Chesterton.

Ok, here is a summery of the book:

"In a surreal turn of the century London, Gabriel Syme, a poet, is recruited to a secret anti-anarchist taskforce at Scotland Yard. Lucian Gregory, an anacrchist poet, is the only poet in Saffron Park, until he loses his temper in an argument over the purpose of poetry with Gabriel Syme, who takes the opposite view. After some time, the frustrated Gregory finds Syme and leads him to a local anarchist meeting-place to prove that he is a true anarchist. Instead of the anarchist Gregory getting elected, the officer Syme uses his wits and is elected as the local representative to the worldwide Central Council of Anarchists. The Council consists of seven men, each using the name of a day of the week as a code name; Syme is given the name of Thursday. In his efforts to thwart the council's intentions, however, he discovers that five of the other six members are also undercover detectives; each was just as mysteriously employed and assigned to defeat the Council of Days. They all soon find out that they are fighting each other and not real anarchists; such was the mastermind plan of the genius Sunday. In a dizzying and surreal conclusion, the six champions of order and former anarchist ring-leaders chase down the disturbing and whimsical Sunday, the man who calls himself "The Peace of God"."

Ok, now here are some questions that we are to discuss:

1. Who was your favorite character and why?

2. What is the point of the story?

3. Who and what do the characters represent -if any?

4. What is the purpose of the "secret council" and who is Sunday?"

5. What was interesting or engaging about the book?

5. What was not interesting or boring about the book?

6. What is your general opinion of the story, style of writing, characters, themes... etc.?

I can't wait to hear from you! Thanks for participating!

Thanks a million,

The DC Board

"Don't you see we've checkmated each other? [...] I can't tell the police you are an anarchist. You can't tell the anarchists I'm a policeman." ~Gabriel Syme


  1. For most of those questions I don't have a good answer...(just to let you know, I have about 1 1/2 chapters left to read.) but I can say that my favorite part was the beginning. I loved the conversation between Syme and Gregory. The intense dialogue of theirs was absolutely brilliant.

  2. I remember thinking when I read it what an organized brain Chesterton must have had to be able to write words that are so confusing!
    I had never read any Chesterton before. I have never in my life read anything like this book! I really like it. However, I do think when I am older and re-read it, I will get different and perhaps more things out of it than I did just now, simply because it is so complex. I think there is so much going on in this book that everyone will get something different from it. It truly is brilliant.

  3. I definitely don't recommend The Man Who Was Thursday for kids much younger than I. I think it would go totally over most young ones' heads.

  4. Thanks for reading what I wrote! I look forward to everyone else's comments.

  5. This book was ingenious. Really awesome. I can't fathom the awesomeness of G. K. Chesterton's mind! My thoughts are quite similar Arwen's.
    What about Dodge and Tini?

  6. I meant "quite similar to Arwen's." Sorry, I left out the "to."

  7. Hopefully they will join us soon. We will try to continue this discussion for few days.

  8. Who was your favorite character, L. A.?

  9. Hey DC board: How long do you want this thing to go on? How long should I wait to do my post?

  10. If nothing interesting happens by tomorrow, then you can go ahead.

  11. 1. My favorite character was Dr. Bull, or Saturday. He is introduced with this:

    "Right at the end sat the man called Saturday, the simplest and the most baffling of all... There was nothing whatever odd about him, except that he wore a pair of dark, almost opaque spectacles. It may have been merely a crescendo of nervous fancy that had gone before, but those black discs were dreadful to Syme; they reminded him of half-remembered ugly tales, of some story about pennies being put on the eyes of the dead. Syme's eye always caught the black glasses and the blind grin. Had the dying Professor worn them, or even the pale Secretary, they would have been appropriate. But on the younger and grosser man they seemed only an enigma. They took away the key of his face. You could not tell what his smile or his gravity meant. Partly from this, and partly because he had a vulgar virility wanting in most of the others, it seemed to Syme that he might be the wickedest of all those wicked men. Syme even thought that his eyes might even be covered up because they were too frightful to see."

    Now that immediately caught my attention. He remained an interesting character throughout the whole book, and I liked how he never gave up hope on the human race. When the other members of the council thought that the world was going to hell in a handbasket, he found the good, and tried to see things differently.

  12. Very interesting book. I was continuously curious about what was going to happen next. I am definetely going to recommend it for others to read. Although I agree with Lady Arwen about it going over some peoples heads. I am quite sure that I didn't understand it fully.
    My favorite character is probably Gabriel Syme. I found his wits very entertaining, especially at the election of Thursday. I loved how Chesterton based a lot of the story on the seven days of creation.
    I really liked Chestertons style of writing also. Their were some particular quotes that caught my attention and got me thinking. He seems like a very smart man. I would love to read some more of his books.

    Rosie Cotton

  13. Cool! Thanks you both for commenting.
    If anyone has anything else to say, please comment soon because I will be posting later this afternoon.

  14. Sorry I didn't get a chance to comment before. I loved the book. It was facinating from beginning to end. My favorite character was Saturday. He interested me from the start. My favorite part was when Friday and Syme found out Saturday was with them. I also liked the end of the story when they were all together in their costumes. Chesterton truly wrote an amazing book.