Skip to main content

Book Review—The Quotable Chesterton

For the record: this book was received free from Booksneeze, part of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  They send the free book, I write the free review, and everybody's happy. Check it out for yourself if you're so inclined.

The Quotable Chesterton: The Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton

As you can tell by the above graphic and the oh-so-not deceptive blog title, today we're looking at Kevin Belmonte's The Quotable Chesterton. 

If you're like me, your first question was: Chesterwho?  Well, Belmonte has another book out right now that's a biography of Chesterton, so I'll just give you a short bio.  Chesterton was primarily a literary critic at the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th.  He was also a Christian. He wrote, spoke, and was renowned for his insights into a great many things. The main thing I remember his name attached to was that, when a London newspaper asked the question "What is wrong with the world? Who is to blame for our problems?" and Chesterton replied: "I am."  (or something of the sort.) Wit, wisdom, and writing make for the three parts of Chesterton, from what I can tell.

So, this book is actually a collection of quotes from Chesterton's various writings.  They are organized by topic and listed alphabetically.  A few of them are more than two paragraphs, but most of the quotes are a paragraph or shorter.

Strengths? The first is by nature of the book: the short quips and condensed wisdom are there to be found without having to read the whole books.  The second is that Belmonte has endnoted each quote for reference purposes.  There can be no question if Chesterton wrote each thing attributed to him, since it can be easily referenced.

Weaknesses?  Just a couple that I noticed.  1.) Context issues.  Just as an observation, Chesterton lived in England, and much of his commentary comes from the perspective of a lifelong Londoner.  I'd like to see a few footnotes to clear up historical context where the quotes reference a definite geographic location or current event in Chesterton's time.  2.) Also a type of context issue, and that is there are some quotes lifted from Chesterton's novels.  Having not read them, it's hard to place the character names referenced.  Now, I recognize that this is the fault of my own barbaric lack of reading, but many other readers might have slipped in this manner as well.  I'm not sure how Belmonte could have remedied this short of providing synopses of each novel, so it's probably just going to remain a drawback.  Instead, since many Chesterton's complete works are free on Kindle, I'll be catching up that way.

The question of usefulness of this book is kind of a toss-up.  If you're looking for a good quote or two to fill in a speech or spice up your writing, it's a good source.  However, in some circles, you'll be met with the same opening question you had for me: Chesterwho?

If you've got time to enlighten your audience, though, it's worth it for them to know him, because it's well worth you reading him.

Doug

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…

Sermon Recap for July 29 (and 22)

Good Morning!Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!July 29 AM: (Audio)
July 29 PM: (Audio)
July 22 AM: (Audio)July 22 PM: (Audio)