Skip to content

READING THE TBR, DAY 285: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1922) by G. K. Chesterton

I am so mad that I brought this book back with me from London more than a decade ago, and have given it shelf space ever since. WHY did I do that? Why did I not read it as soon as I bought it and learn how unutterably boring it was right away, and discard it with prejudice before allowing it to take up valuable baggage allowance on an across-the-world flight?

Oh, right. Because that’s what I do.

Damn it.

Anyway, this book. Dull, dull, dull. I cannot understand how Chesterton has become such a byword for English mystery writing, often spoken of in the same breath as Christie, Heyer and Sayers. His Father Brown series, which I have never read (but I’ve seen a few episodes of the TV series) might account for it. But this one–no. It is nothing more than a misbegotten collection of eight short stories that showcase the Discount Sherlock Holmes that is Horne Fisher solving crimes and posing metaphysical and/or moral dilemmas while attempting to deliver wry one-liners that simply never land. 

There is something very disconcerting about so thoroughly disliking a book by anyone universally accounted a “classic” author. You feel like you must be wrong, somehow. But, no. Surely you can’t be wrong when it comes to whether you enjoy something or not?

Right?

SCORECARD

TBR DAY 285: The Man Who Knew Too Much by G. K. Chesterton
GENRE: Mystery, Cosy Mystery, Classic
PUBLISHED: 1922
TIME ON THE TBR: ~15 years. 
PURCHASED FROM: Charing Cross Road, London.
KEEP: Nope.

Published inTBR

Comments are closed.