Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

There's something to be said for mood reading, and I was definitely not in the mood to be reading this collection of detective stories this past week. I had to force myself to pick up the book and while I was reading, I often had to reread entire passages. When I came across this sentence in the beginning, I knew this book would be work to read.
"In short, there is in life an element of elfin coincidence which people reckoning on the prosaic may perpetually miss."

Sentences like that exhaust me. I only managed to make it through a few of these stories before I realized that it was going to take me a very long time to read, and so I decided to abandon this collection despite my commitment to the Classics Circuit to review it. What I felt like as I was reading is that there were lots of extra words to illustrate rather simple points. I did think sometimes I might enjoy this at another time, but I do doubt I'll do more reading of Father Brown. I did find the character of Father Brown, this unexpectedly sharp priest, to be rather fun, thought.

I think it brings up an interesting point, and something that scares me. I've participated in three of the Classics Circuits now and found two of the experiences to be a bit dismal and one to be fantastic. But I have a growing fear that I'm one of those people who doesn't really like classics.

I'm not sure now is the best time for me to be evaluating this, I've been very busy and constantly exhausted and even short books are taking a long time for me to read. But some of the reasons people don't enjoy classics certainly apply to me here...they're a bit more work to read, the language is outdated, etc. I hate to think I'm a lazy reader, but I'm starting to think it might be so.

In any case, EVERYONE else seems to love G.K. Chesterton, which is a reason I wanted to read this book. And maybe at another time, when I have no time pressure to read it, I'll revisit it. But for my life right now, it simply wasn't the best fit.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate hearing your thoughts.