Book Meme: Mel’s Day Twenty-Seven

Book Meme Challenge:

Most Surprising Plot Twist or Ending

When I read books, I look for the truths about humanity and life imbedded in them. I watch the characters and befriend the protagonists.

Rarely am I surprised as far as characters go. (If it is a well written book.) And everything else most peripheral. Only something like a sudden flood that comes and kills the hero and heroine in the last two pages of the book really takes me by surprise. But I already wrote on that book.

And in Mystery stories, I do not particularly pay attention to all the clues that are dropped: I tend to Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie mainly because of the unabashed character studies that are put in the guise of mystery.

But there is one set of stories that always keep me guessing and wondering, and yet I am always surprised.

The Father Brown Mysteries

By G.K. Chesterton

Is it slightly revealing that there are three mentions of Chesterton already in my Meme answers? Are you bored of him yet?

These short stories revolve around the people. The incidents, the strange phenomena, the crazy characters . . .  all can be explained with a little knowledge of the human tendencies, soulful inclinations, and divine humor.

And a dash of Chestertonian Logic.

Chestertonian Logic always makes sens in the context that it is presented. It is strange and exciting. And almost applicable to life outside the books.

If only people acted like Chesterton was writing a story about them.

The thing about Chesterton’s characters is that, like a Wodehouse character, they are drawn larger than life; they an expansion and slight exaggeration of life. So even if we have never met a character just like one of Chesterton’s creations, we can still recognize them as human and real.

Likewise, his logic works the same way. It might be True to Humanity, but not necessarily to the current social norms.

And thus his mysteries allow him to explore the beautiful lunacy, heartbreaking frailty, and cruel faults of humanity. The most weird and awesome events are all dependant upon one the most delightful detectives ever authored.

Father Brown is a short, round, bespectacled Catholic Priest. And while he never forces his faith on anyone, his beliefs ad values are so essential to him that inform every decision, thought, and action that he takes. All so subtly that it is almost difficult to see; he has integrity of mind, body and soul.

And so he meanders through life, dropping umbrellas and solving mysteries.

The first mystery, that of “The Blue Cross,” is funny and sweet. But it is the second tale in the series, the “Secret Garden” that things begin to be turned upon their respective heads.

They are odd, surprising, even shocking. But always good fun!

Also, there was a charming Father Brown movie made in 1954, starring Obi-Wan Kenobi Alec Guinness. It is quite fun, although not nearly as plot twisty as the original.

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3 thoughts on “Book Meme: Mel’s Day Twenty-Seven

  1. “Turned upon their collective heads” – ha! I see what you did there.

    Have you read all the Father Brown stories? Is it unfair to ask which surprised you least? I recall reading through the Omnibus a few years back and being quite proud of myself for the 2 or 3 stories of which I solved one corner of the puzzle.

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