This is Chesterton's most famous novel. On its face it appears to be a detective story filled with politics and intrigue par excellence. Moving through this literary masterpiece it becomes clear that this thriller is nothing less than the mystery of creation itself. Upon its debut critics called The Man Who Was Thursday “amazingly clever,” “a remarkable acrobatic performance”, and “a scurrying, door-slamming farce that ends like a chapter in the Apocalypse.”
Drawing on contemporary fears of anarchist conspiracies and bomb outrages, the setting is firmly set in its time and place - turn of the century London - but it also defies temporal boundaries. Police detective Gabriel Syme finds himself drawn into a world that has gone beyond humanity when he infiltrates the society of militant anarchists and is elected "Thursday", one of the members of the Central European Council of seven monarchs.
Dreamlike, prophetic and frequently funny, the novel attacks contemporary pessimism and through a bizarre series of pursuits and unmaskings, returns Syme - and us - to reality more aware of its beauty, promise and creative potential.
"A powerful picture of the loneliness and bewilderment which each of us encounters in his single-handed struggle with the universe."
- - C.S. Lewis