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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Manalive by Chesterton

by G. K. Chesterton

Point: To be alive, to be truly alive, is much more than living by conventions and understanding the rules.

Path: Chesterton knows how to write! The reader is catapulted into a fantastic mystery with twist upon twist. The lives of four unsuspecting English are forever changed by the appearance of an enigma, a Mr. Innocent Smith. He lands in the midst of their shadowy garden in order to dispel the darkness in which they exist. Will his demeanor and tactics be enough to imprison him before the great Dr. Warner, or the premier scientist, Professor Pym?

Sources: Chesterton understood modernism. He felt the despair of nihilism. He captured the folly of socialism. And apparently he knew what it was to be alive. His storytelling abilities do not cease to amaze me.

Agreement: This is one of the best books I have read all year. It is currently my favorite of Chesterton, although “The Club of Queer Trades” is great as well.
I laughed more in this book than I have in any other that I can remember. His descriptions were captivating and his humor profound. 

Personal App: Am I alive? Am I truly alive? Has the wonder of the drakes and spotted blinds caused me to thank God? Will I leave my home to find it? Will I find my wife to marry her? This book makes me look again at what is truly living.

Favorite Quote: There are so many, but this one summarizes the book well.
“The idea that Smith is attacking is this. Living in an entangled civilization, we have come to think certain things wrong which are not wrong at all. We have come to think outbreak and exuberance, banging and barging, rotting and wrecking, wrong. In themselves they are not merely pardonable; the are unimpeachable.”

Stars: 5 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.

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Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:8)