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The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown 1) Mass Market Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141393262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141393261
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.6 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Chesterton knew how to make the most of a detective story (Jorge Luis Borges)

About the Author

G. K. Chesterton was born in 1874. He attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best- known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1922), The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
Father Brown is first introduced to readers as a kindly, clumsy little priest who prattles naively about the valuables he's toting, and keeps dropping his umbrella.

But appearances, G.K. Chesterton reminds us, are deceptive. "The Innocence of Father Brown" is the first collection of stories about the kindly, eccentric detective who has an uncanny cleverness that nobody guesses. Chesterton wraps each story in his warm, sometimes entrancing writing and a very odd assortment of crimes.

The first story opens with French detective Valentin on the hunt for the great thief Flambeau, and along the way encounters a little priest who is telling people about his "silver with blue stones." Turns out that the little priest is the target of Flambeau's crime, and the priceless sapphire cross he's carrying is about to be stolen -- but Valentin discovers that Father Brown is a lot cleverer than he seems.

In the stories that follow, Father Brown is involved in a series of strange crimes -- a cold-blooded beheading from religious bigotry, "a cheery cosy English middle-class crime" for Christmas, an Italian prince's invitation ends with revenge, a mysterious fall, a murderer in the open that nobody sees, precious gems, headless skeletons, and a suicide note that reads: "I die by my own hand; yet I die murdered!"

Chesterton's mysteries are often ignored next to Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, which is odd when you consider his uncanny knack for making mysteries that are simple, yet incredibly hard to figure out. And each mystery is accompanied by little insights into human nature -- such as the one man whom you could see going to a crime scene, but wouldn't notice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By h2g2 on 31 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a superb audiobook; everything about it is of an absurdly high quality.

G. K. Chesterton was a superb writer, the plots, the writing itself, the artistic description, all contribute to the marvellousness of these stories.

The reading of David Timson is fantastic, also. His voice has the right tempo, dynamics, everything that you could possibly want for a superb reading voice.

As you can probably guess, I really would recommend this CD, as it is a near perfect work. The only one little thing about it is that when I loaded it up onto my iTunes, I found that the discs are without the Info on them, so the CD's went unrecognized. This was altered by putting the information in myself, which did take a bit of time, but is not necessary, it is just that if you are like me and like your pieces of audio to have all the information and album artwork there, then it is a bit of a hassle. But, other than that, this is a marvellous, recommended audiobook.

I hope that you have found this review helpful!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By coldog on 29 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD
David Timson does it again! as a recording studio owner I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough. I have purchased the whole Sherlock Holmes audiobooks, and after numerous references to G K Chesterton by Stephen Fry in many interviews, purchased the 1st and now the 2nd cd set of
Father Brown.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, from the quality of Chesterton's stories, to Timsons's narration, the whole package including the quality of the audio is simply stunning.
Thank you for this wonderful experience, forget TV, just turn off the lights and listen to David take you back in time, and drift off into these wonderful short stories.
Apparently there's 52 in all, I can't wait the the next cd set. Thank you Chesterton, and especially David Timson and the production team for such top quality audio, it really doesn't come much better than this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
The Father Brown stories are great. They make absolutely no sense, pyschological, realist or in terms of the solutions to the crimes, but are so engagingly written, with such transparent 'goodness' in the moonfaced priest himself, that they remain even now memorable allegories for everyday life. Often they hit the level of high farce in their absolute refusal to take themselves seriously: except, that is, in the very real way they touch on ethical, moral and religious dilemmas at times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must admit that I have been recording the new daytime series on BBC1 of Father Brown and enjoying it. Due to that I thought it was about time I re-read some of the original tales, and instead of going through all my books I found this freebie for my kindle. In all this volume contains twelve tales, these being The Blue Cross, The Secret Garden, The Queer Feet, The Flying Stars, The Invisible Man, The Honour of Israel Gow, The Wrong Shape, The Sins of Prince Saradine, The Hammer of God, The Eye of Apollo, The Sign of the Broken Sword and, The Three Tools of Death.

It has been some time since I have last read any Father Brown tales, so it came as a pleasant surprise when I realised I had forgotten how good they really are. All Father Brown tales are short stories and are good little puzzles for you to get your head around, which is one of the reasons I suppose that they have always remained so popular, that and the fact that the amateur detective is just an unassuming Catholic priest. Well written and enjoyable to read, whether Father Brown is solving a murder, a theft, or other types of mysteries these are all well worth reading.

I feel I should point out that although there is no table of contents listed in the 'Go To' menu there is in reality one. If you click back from the beginning of this you will find it, so it is quick and easy to find any particular story that you may want to read.
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