[Poll #1866417]

Feel free to pre-emptively discuss these or other books in comments.
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From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


I have never read any of these. I have a copy of the annotated edition of The Man Who Was Thursday and really should read it one of these days. (I've read lots of Chesterton's mystery stories.)

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


That's one reason I keep looking at it and then deciding to read something else. I will get around to it someday, unless maybe Rachel posts about it and convinces me I will hate it.

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


Generally, they are pretty good. I prefer them to the Sherlock Holmes stories, which they somewhat resemble, because I think Chesterton is a better prose stylist than Arthur Conan Doyle. There are occasional bits of anti-Semitism, dumb statements about non-Western religions, and racism, which is not too surprising but does ruin a few stories (don't read "The God of the Gongs"). If you want to try them I would recommend reading the first volume, The Innocence of Father Brown, which has some of the best stories (IMHO): "The Blue Cross," "The Queer Feet," and "The Sign of the Broken Sword."

He wrote some mystery stories with other characters. The stories in The Club of Queer Trades are fun. The Poet and the Lunatics (about a mystery-solving poet) I recall as being good but I haven't read it in some time. The stories in The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond are mostly a bit dull, but one - "The Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse" - was Borges' favorite Chesterton story.

From: [identity profile] londonkds.livejournal.com


Not just non-Western religion, there are also jibes about Protestantism.

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


This is true, although I think more in the later stories (he was not Catholic when he started writing them).

From: [identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com


Have you read any of his essays? We read an essay collection of his for our book club, and it was a combination of pithy and clever with, "Gilbert Keith sit your ass down because you are pulling things out of it without supporting them in the least."

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


He does that in many of his stories, too. I mean, they're fiction and all but he does often have authoritative characters assert things which one would want a great deal of support to accept. I enjoy the stories anyway but I imagine it bothers some people. It bothers a lot of people when Heinlein does it.

Am now imagining a Chesterton-Heinlein crossover. I may need to lie down.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


No, that was my first Chesterton, period. The essays sound a bit like C. S. Lewis. I read tons of Lewis's writings on Christianity because I liked his prose so much, but there were some amazing examples of the logical follow-through on an out-of-nowhere premise. The one I remember best went like this:

"All desires have an object. Thirst is only possible because water exists. The desire for love is only possible because love exists. Therefore, the fact that people desire God is proof that God exists."

No, it isn't! Many desires have no real object! I desire to visit Narnia; that isn't proof that Narnia is a real place I can visit. I also desire to teleport, ride a telepathic dragon, own a flying car, and make people's heads explode with the power of my mind. NONE of those things exist, and my desire for them is not proof that they exist.

From: [identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com


I actually find Chesterton has a lot more lines that make me laugh, so that makes his essays more worthwhile than Lewis's. But that kind of orifice-extraction lines are exactly what I mean.
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From: [identity profile] goldjadeocean.livejournal.com


Rachel, Rachel, Rachel. I'm surprised. Why suddenly so reticent about your love of cognitive therapy?

(Yes, everyone, I get the joke.)
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From: [identity profile] derien.livejournal.com


Oh! I've been meaning to tell you - I think you ought to read Dead Men Tell No Tales by E. W. Hornung, so that you can talk to me about it! I ended up making at least three posts about it, mostly about the m/m content - (somewhat spoilery for around Chapter 5, I think.) - but I think you should read it for the fact the main character is experiencing rather severe PTSD throughout the book. It was written about contemporaneous with the Holmes stories, so I'm wondering if his take on PTSD is quite different or pretty much what you'd expect today.

From: [identity profile] kimberlite8.livejournal.com


I voted for the fanfic reviews. Your comment regarding CBT made me giggle as reading fanfic has certainly opened my eyes to a therefore unknown world of kink - and here I thought I was sophisticated. Some kinks (like say knotting) are really bizarre, yet their ubiquity in fanfics points to how fanfics can nurture kinks in their readers rather than the other way around.

For book recommendations, I see that you've read a fair amount of Laura Kinsale. Have you read her Seize the Fire? It has a hero with PTSD and a lost princess heroine with revolutionary ambitions. It suffers from the standard Kinsale everything but the kitchen sink plotting, with our lovers traveling all over the world, attacked by pirates, imprisoned by sheiks. But the writing is good, and I thought the descriptions of PTSD quite intense and non-melodramatic or exploitative - no PTSD sex here! I liked how the heroine's revolutionary ambitions aren't mocked but neither is it indulged in a childishly simplistic manner.

My second choice for book reviews that you've read is Chesterton. I've wanted to read more of his works for some time. He seems to have the kind of prose style that I admire in CS Lewis. Though he's extremely wordy from what little I've read.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Belatedly, yes, I have read Seize the Fire, though I don;t seem to have ever reviewed it. I enjoyed it. I have a weakness for kitchen sink plotting. (You forgot stranded with penguins.)

Look for a Chesterton review tomorrow.

Your thoughts on fanfic are dead-on. I do not think that knotting and Omegas were common kinks that suddenly found an outlet in writing, but rather unknown kinks that caught on after people were exposed to them.

From: [identity profile] kimberlite8.livejournal.com


You forgot stranded with penguins

**chuckling** I think every Kinsale novel I've read has some sort of spirit animal associated with it. I like to think she has some sort of dart board segmented with various charismatic minifauna. There's the whoosh of the dart and aha! - hedgehog for Midsummer Moon. :P

I'd love to read some sort of psychological analysis on the popularity of themes within smutty fanfic and what does it all mean. Causally thumbed "Billion Wicked Thoughts" but the reviews on amazon said it was poor science. And the NYT sniffed at it calling it a "farrago" (I love it when I stumble upon a new word and have to look it up in the dictionary)
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From: [personal profile] oyceter


Let me know what you think of Trial by Fire by email or something if you don't end up writing it up!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Awesomesauce with a cherry on top. Really liked how Ned's mental illness was handled; very realistic, historically appropriate, and interesting. Loved the seasonal metaphors. Loved Kate. Funny. Also, hot.

It was also interesting to see how Milan got better at dealing with some issues as she continued writing. In this and the first book (which I didn't like as much) I could see her thinking, "Wealth and position would realistically solve an awful lot of problems," trying her best to set up situations where the heroes couldn't buy themselves out of problems, and finally resorting to "buy themselves out" when it got too implausible that they wouldn't. In the "Un" books, that's less easy.

I'd love to see her write about non-rich, non-aristocratic couples now that she's self-publishing. I get the feeling that she would like to.
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From: [personal profile] oyceter


Glad you liked it! I love Kate too! And it is a romance with stuff about the Opium War that didn't actually make me want to throw things... I love how Ned goes there to basically be Great White Savior, and it completely doesn't work that way.

I think her newer series is going to be on more non-rich, non-aristocratic couples? I know the novella beginning the series is definitely, and her comments soudned like she added a duke just because she was going to publish it traditionally. So I'm guessing she really wants to do some pretty non-traditional stuff YAY.
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