November 25, 2005

Essential Writings, by G.K.Chesterton

I like Chesterton a whole lot, and I bought this book during my last Chesterton binge. That was some time ago, and it's taken this long to review only because I never finished it. And why did I never finish it? Because it isn't a very good book.

What it is, is an anthology of a few essays and many excerpts from longer books, most of which I'd already read. The excerpts are all good bits, but somehow they aren't as compelling when plucked from their proper setting. Each piece has an introduction by some guy named William Griffin, with whom I have two quarrels: first, I dimly remember that his introductions annoyed me, and second, he somehow managed to make Chesterton boring. Perhaps I'd have felt differently if I hadn't read most of the material before; and perhaps this book would be a good introduction to Chesterton for one not yet acquainted. I dunno. But I didn't like it.

On a whim I did a Google search on the American Chesterton Society's web site; for what it's worth, they make no mention of the book at all.

Posted by Will Duquette at November 25, 2005 10:15 AM