The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare: 10/29/09
If you are a regular reader of book blogs, you've probably seen the reviews for The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut that's meant to introduce children to G. K. Chesterton. I turned down the offer to review the book here, finding the indoctrination idea unsavory even if he has been an influence on writers that children and tweens will come across (C. S. Lewis and Neil Gaiman, for instance).
Karma and probably the name stuck in the back of my mind guided my hand during a recent random book selection at my local library. The book I picked was The Man Who Was Thursday. I liked the title and the author's name was familiar though I didn't connect it to the Uncle Chestnut book until I was finished.
The book is about Gabriel Syme, a policeman and poet who goes undercover as "Thursday" to bring down a dangerous group of anarchists. They all go by days of the week. His investigation leads to revelations about the society that surprises everyone involved, including its leader.
Like Father Malachy's Miracle by Bruce Marshall I picked up more on the anarchists as communists theme than I did the underlying religious rhetoric. As a piece of social commentary on the excesses of government, it's a very funny novel. As a piece of theological discourse it's something altogether different. The third of the book is where the anarchy vs theology come head to head. The police hone in on the leader (Sunday, of course!) and seek to take him down to save society.
I think I would have enjoyed the novel more without puzzling over the religious undertones of it.