Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Review: The Flying Inn
The Flying Inn by G.K. Chesterton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The main problem with this book is that the author is very clever, and likes to show it. He also has strong political, religious and philosophical views which are not necessarily widely shared, and he wants to propagate them. This leads to a certain amount of straw-manning. Characters can't be just characters, they have to be types, standing for everyone who shares a particular characteristic with them.
It took me a long time to finish listening to the book (I got it from Librivox), because I just wasn't all that engaged with the premise of "sinister Muslim influence on British politics leads to Prohibition; rag-tag, eccentric Irishman mounts an initially small-scale insurgency against the changes; the political is personal." As a British Catholic, Chesterton is heir to a long tradition of being "agin the gummint," and his anarchist tendencies are on full display here.
There's a great deal of singing of original songs, which, fortunately, are mostly decent poetry. There's a lot of milling around without a clear goal, too.
While I enjoyed other Chesterton works like [b:The Napoleon of Notting Hill|49673|The Napoleon of Notting Hill|G.K. Chesterton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348317327s/49673.jpg|990611] and [b:The Man Who Was Thursday|184419|The Man Who Was Thursday|G.K. Chesterton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403181403s/184419.jpg|195447], I always felt that there was something slightly off about them for my taste. In the case of this book, that "off" feeling dominated.
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