The Incredulity of Father Brown

The Incredulity of Father Brown

In "The Incredulity of Father Brown," G.K. Chesterton treats us to another set of bizarre crimes that only his "stumpy" Roman Catholic prelate has the wisdom and mindset to solve. As usual, Chesterton loves playing with early twentieth-century class distinctions, "common-sense" assumptions, and the often anti-Catholic biases of his characters. He loves showing, through his...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Incredulity of Father Brown
Author:G.K. Chesterton
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Incredulity of Father Brown Reviews

  • F.R.

    For whatever reason I didn’t get along that well with the previous collection featuring Mr Chesterton’s ecclesiastical detective – ‘The Wisdom of Father Brown’. I thought as I read the tales that they were somewhat laborious and lacking in substance. As such I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed the subsequent volume – ‘The Incredulity of Father Brown’. I can’t tell without reading them again back to back whether one volume is genuinely more fun than the other, or whether it wa

    For whatever reason I didn’t get along that well with the previous collection featuring Mr Chesterton’s ecclesiastical detective – ‘The Wisdom of Father Brown’. I thought as I read the tales that they were somewhat laborious and lacking in substance. As such I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed the subsequent volume – ‘The Incredulity of Father Brown’. I can’t tell without reading them again back to back whether one volume is genuinely more fun than the other, or whether it was the case that I was just in the wrong mood last time, but I have been decidedly pleased with the eight stories in this collection.

    The format remains unaltered: Father Brown finds himself involved in a case which seems to have a supernatural element, and whilst solving it bats away the preternatural part while simultaneously reaffirming how strong and true Catholicism is. (Chesterton was always a writer wedded to his faith). But within that format there’s room for variety; so here we have family curses, gothic tales, a musing on Capitalism versus Bolshevism and a very nice line in locked room mysteries. There’s even a tale where Father Brown becomes a celebrity sleuth in the mould of Sherlock Holmes thanks to these very stories.

    What really makes them shine though is Chesterton’s wit and the quality of his prose, the aspects (along with his size and shape) which made him such a literary celebrity in the early Twentieth Century. Here, as an example, is the opening sentence of the second story in this collection, 'The Arrow of Heaven': "

    " A line I liked so much that I quoted it on this site about fifteen minutes after I read it.

    It’s a volume to dip into rather than take on a long train journey. I imagine reading them all in a day or so would prove rather repetitive, but taken in moderation each one is a lovely, sweet treat.

  • Jim

    While

    and

    contain more spritely stories,

    by

    is still worthy of a closer look. If one goes to the Father Brown stories expecting to find more traditional whodunits, perhaps in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle or Richard Austin Freeman, he or she will be perplexed and disappointed. To begin with, Father Brown has no particular interest in seeing the guilty party being led to judgment. There are,

    While

    and

    contain more spritely stories,

    by

    is still worthy of a closer look. If one goes to the Father Brown stories expecting to find more traditional whodunits, perhaps in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle or Richard Austin Freeman, he or she will be perplexed and disappointed. To begin with, Father Brown has no particular interest in seeing the guilty party being led to judgment. There are, in fact, no trials in these stories; and one is equally likely to see Father Brown passing heavier judgment on the victims than on the murderers.

    In

    , all the stories involve murders. We find the usual Chesterton "moral landscape" -- in which the author paints a picture of nature somehow mirroring the fact that something is very wrong. A good example is this descriptive paragraph from "The Dagger with Wings":

    By the time he solves the mystery, which he does, as is usual with him, with his lightning intuition, the priest wends his way back down the hill -- but the ominous quality is all gone, because the moral Gordian knot has been cut by the Father Brown's intellect:

    Perhaps the best and most typical story in the collection is "The Doom of the Darnaways," in which a painting with a grim prediction has cast a pall of gloom over succeeding generations of an old English family:

    The action is set in a half-ruined estate bordering the sea (with one of the best examples of Chesterton's moral landscapes). Fortunately, the little priest is there to unravel the skeins of gloom that are draped on this grim household.

    As he wrote in 1930 in the

    , "[t]he essence of a mystery tale is that we are suddenly confronted with a truth which we have never suspected and yet can see to be true." And that is what the Father Brown stories are all about.

  • Evgeny

    This collection contains eight short Father Brown mysteries. The guy justifiably earned his place among the greatest detectives of all time. He is probably the most harmless of them all. Consider Sherlock Holmes as an example: he never shied away from a little action and was in a fairly good physical shape.

    If you recall famous American hard-boiled detectives: Sam Spade, Continental Op, Philip Marlowe, and Lew Archer - these guys took and delivered quite a lot of beating during their investigati

    This collection contains eight short Father Brown mysteries. The guy justifiably earned his place among the greatest detectives of all time. He is probably the most harmless of them all. Consider Sherlock Holmes as an example: he never shied away from a little action and was in a fairly good physical shape.

    If you recall famous American hard-boiled detectives: Sam Spade, Continental Op, Philip Marlowe, and Lew Archer - these guys took and delivered quite a lot of beating during their investigations.

    Father Brown is as timid as they make them: from his description he looks even less prone to violence than a typical old maiden Miss Marple.

    As such while almost all of these stories deal with murders they are never about catching the culprit: Father Brown's task is to just expose him/her. The mysteries themselves are quite complicated (some of them I would even call too complicated) with some paradoxes thrown in for a good measure. The resolution of the paradoxes are at times trivial (once they are explained), sometimes implausible, and sometimes why-the-hell-have-not-I-think-about-it type. With all of them I think Chesterton have to be credited with creation some of the tropes even modern mysteries and thrillers still use - I can think of at least two out of the top of my head.

    I am done with my praise, now it is time for some criticism. It looks like Chesterton was deeply religious person and he never missed a chance to show how feeble-minded and prone to superstitions the minds of atheists are. In fact the acting Catholic priest Father Brown always appears to be least superstitions of all present characters.

    As an atheist the appropriate modern reaction would be to shout to the whole world (which really does not care) that I am offended and rate this book with 1 star. Being old-school I just laughed at it and ignored it; I do judge this book on all its merits.

    The writing style makes for slow read - I cannot even figure out the reason for this. The first collection was more lighthearted; the second and this books failed to capture the lightheartedness again. This would be only part of the reason, but this is the only one I can think of.

    The rating is 3.5 stars. I though about rounding it down until I finished the last story dealing with evil Bolsheviks; the final words of Father Brown (and through him the author's) were nothing short of prophetic; they were not related to Bolsheviks by the way.

    I was very much impressed and as a result the rating was rounded up: 4 stars.

  • LydiaMae

    I love Father Brown stories so muuuch! I remember reading all of the books in 2016 in one go (the short stories of course) and it was so exciting and clever; I was thinking about them for ages afterwards!

  • An Odd1

    Starts exciting with Father Brown in a tropical village, recovering from his own "murder", then degenerates into quasi-philosphical maunderings.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.