Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn more Shop now Shop now

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 20 January 2013
To be honest, the thing that would make this perfect would be a summer's day by a river. It is a languid visit into the past with descriptive language and a teasing problem to solve. Each story takes between 15 - 20 minutes to read and is perfect to just dip into. Delightful.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 August 2011
This is perfect beach reading. The stories are not too long, and it keeps be well chuffed and entertained. While the stories here are organised in the order of publication, you can easily jump to any story you like and still derive full enjoyment.

Kindle delivery technology is amazing, it even works on a beach in Spain as long as there is 3G reception!
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 May 2012
Father Brown is an apparently quite ordinary man, a simple priest of the Catholic Church. He appears to fumble, to bumble and to dither. But he has a sharp acuity of mind, and an intelligence that outstrips many of his sneering antagonists. And so often, when he is confronted with atheists who have been "convinced" by some apparently miraculous event, he reveals a truth that is anything but mystical - and in doing so, reveals the real spiritual truths they have missed. Of an apparent curse in one story he comments, "It's not the religion I cannot accept; it's the history." He goes on to explain: "I can believe the improbable, but not the impossible. If, for example, you told me that in his dying hours, Gladstone was visited by the ghost of Parnell, I shall remain agnostic about it. But if you told me that the first time Gladstone met Queen Victoria, he wore his hat in her drawing room, slapped her on the back and offered her a cigar, I shall simply refuse to believe it." And that is so often how he sets to work.

From the very first story, "The Blue Cross" to the last, "The insoluble Problem," we are confronted with a series of mysteries with remarkable twists, all based on the very real vagaries of human nature, all revealing profound truths. Long after the brilliance of Chersterton's stories has faded, we are confronted by the profundity of his philosophical insight, his spiritual perception, as it is revealed through his chief protagonist. They are not just detective stories; they are spiritual classics. And as one can read and be moved by Dante Alighieri, even though one be not Christian or even religious, so it is with the Father Brown stories. They have something for everyone, and few come away from them unmoved. They are classics of a sort rarely if ever seen today. If you purchase and read the complete Father Brown stories, you will soon find for them a permanent place on your bookshelf. And you will go back to them and read them...again...and again...and again.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 October 2011
the book is absolutely wonderful. the prose is of such quality the descripions would be rarely equalled. the stories terrific.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 July 2014
Having loved the tv series I was excited to read the original stories. Just shows how different the tv shows can be from the originals. Tv is set in a different part of the country and only loosely anything similar to the original plots. Have not finished the book yet , have had to read something else. Expectations were high but sorry GK Chesterton , didn't grab my attention ....BBC's fault I'm afraid.
Not a criticism of the stories at all , just not my style of writing and for once the tv show was better than the books
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 February 2013
I have heard of the Father Brown stories of course, but haven't been tempted to read any until I caught a couple of the TV programmes. The book is totally different - I am not going to say more so that it isn't spoilt for you. I have enjoyed reading this book, but find it is one where i dip in and read one when in the mood. In no way should you read from cover to cover. They are very well written and descriptive, but perhaps a wee bit 'samey' particularly if you don't break them up well. Worth buying however.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 March 2013
I bought this as a result of watching the "Father Brown" series on TV, as I think many people will have done - I didn't expect it to be the same as the series but didn't find it very gripping at all. The stories are very wordy, the language rather dated and in each case, I wondered whether the plot was ever going to be resolved; it was of course, but not until right at the end when Father Brown explains all. I read most of the stories but over a long period and I still haven't finished them all - I suspect it will be one of those books which I'll read on the Kindle when I haven't anything else lined up.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 February 2015
For those unfamiliar with the character, Father Brown is a catholic priest who just also happens to be something of a successful detective. He appeared in over fifty short stories between 1910 and 1936, and is quite probably one of G. K. Chesterton's most famous creations. As far as I'm aware (and according to the blurb on the cover), this volume brings together every single Father Brown story in print, and despite its somewhat daunting page count is, in my opinion, a fantastic addition to any fan of detective fiction.

Unlike the more commonly known Sherlock Holmes, Brown's approach to detection relies more on intuition and spirituality rather than logic and deduction. In one of the stories he explains his approach by suggesting that in essence he himself had committed the crimes himself, particularly the murders; by imagining how the crimes might be undertaken he effectively becomes the criminal and is able to identify who from the array of suspects is the guilty party.

While it's true to say that I genuinely enjoyed the Father Brown stories, I did find them a little difficult to get to grips with, though I think this is more due to the writing style than the content. This isn't to say that Chesterton is a bad writer, but just the opposite; he is an excellent wordsmith and plays with the language with remarkable aptitude, and I think it's this that stops these stories from being five minute reads and turns them into complex works of art that demand your full attention. Every sentence is crammed full of information and meaning, and you really need to keep your attention on what's being fed to you in order to keep up with the story. This, for me, is what makes these stories so captivating almost a century after they were first penned.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 December 2014
Let me begin this review with a gentle warning for those who come to these stories afresh: if you expect to find, here, tales akin to those chronicling the adventures of one Mr S Holmes, you will probably discover only disappointment in the adventures of Father Brown.

Anyone familiar with The Napoleon of Notting Hill or The Man Who Was Thursday (Penguin English Library) should already be acquainted with Chesterton's rather unique slant on life, and the sheer quirkiness of his themes and style. The Father Brown stories are, then, detective stories only in the sense that certain incidents that transpire in this rather esoteric world of Chesterton's creation call for the investigative skills of one curious and improbably accomplished little priest - occurrences that, quite often, barely seem to resemble crimes at all. These tales are not so much 'Whodunnits' as 'Whydunnits' or 'Howdunnits'. As with the Sherlock Holmes stories, we can appreciate Father Brown's heroic cleverness; but the charm of Chesterton's tales lies much in the revealing of the reasons why and how - and the way in which this caring and compassionate little priest sets about unravelling these conundrums, along with the humane sensitivity he displays in light of their resolution - rather than an extended procedural, which eventually unearths the identity of a villainous perpetrator. Where the Conan Doyle stories so often hinge around a clash between Holmes's supernatural but intolerant intellectual supremacy and a seemingly unending gallery of grotesque felonry that he is determined to bring to justice - stories that are told in a matter-of-fact type of style that suits them best, Chesterton's tales instead are redolent of a softer amiability and colloquial friendliness, which makes their eponymous central character - Father Brown - seem so much more appealing and approachable. Where Conan Doyle delivers an appreciation - page after page - of Holmes's cold and clinical analysis, Chesterton presents the reader with stories that ooze with the full-fat flow of English whimsy; and despite being admired by the likes of Jorges Luis Borges (a Nobel Laureate, but very much an acquired taste himself) - dare I say, this probably goes a long way towards explaining why Chesterton is no longer as widely read as he ought to be...

In truth, the best of the Father Brown stories are to be found in the first two collections - 'The Innocence Of Father Brown' and 'The Wisdom Of Father Brown'. Thereafter, the quality of the plots and storytelling noticeably deteriorates - possibly because Chesterton regarded Father Brown as his own personal 'cash cow' and would revisit him, periodically, only in order to replenish a declining bank balance, and not because he particularly enjoyed the experience in later years. Nevertheless, there is always something to be enjoyed in every single one of these stories - and the fact that this Wordsworth Classics edition is so reasonably priced is surely the icing on the cake.

0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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 Complete Father Brown Stories" brings together the complete 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.

Father Brown is a pleasant little Roman Catholic priest living in England, who seems just to be a nice little old man on the outside. But when a crime is committed -- or seems to have been committed -- Father Brown begins pottering around in search of clues, and unravels the very surprising truths of the matter.

Not just factual truths, but the truths of human nature and theology. Some of the mysteries that confront him are seemingly simple crimes, while others are baffling to the point of impossibility. And some of the stories (such as man who claims he's going to be attacked by a demonic force) seem to have a supernatural basis, but Father Brown's common sense always wins.

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 were a lot simpler than they appeared to be, or else had some sort of bizarre twist at the end. Both kinds of mysteries show up in these short stories, but only occasionally can readers guess what is going on, until Father Brown spells it out with some little detail of human nature.

The mysteries are usually written very casually and a little humorously, but with an oblique wall of clues that don't make sense until Father Brown reveals the motives. And Chesterton's crowning achievement is a writing style is absolutely exquisite ("Over the black pine-wood came flying and flashing in the moon, a naked sword"), something that not many mysteries have.

And Father Brown is a likable little guy, who looks like an "innocent goblin" and doesn't have to overwork himself to solve mysteries. It's his shrewd brain and rather childlike straightforwardness that carries him through, and his innocuous appearance hides a shrewd knowledge of crime and evil ("The reliable machine always has to be worked by an unreliable machine.... I mean Man").

"The Complete Father Brown Stories" brings together some truly memorable mystery stories, with solutions much simpler than they seem.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse