Father Brown (Selected Stories) by G.K. Chesterton
I had this book for a while. I don’t remember the exact time I bought it but I remember where and the other book I bought with it. The other one was “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert. I read that one quite shortly after buying them and I remember being very impressed by it. I am not sure why I bought Father Brown at the same time because to be honest I never heard of the character or of the author. It was probably a very shallow reason: it was affordable and both books look very nice. They are part of the Collector’s Library.
So now a few years later I brought the book with me to Manchester to read it since I felt it was time to see what is inside the pretty cover. On a side comment I am not a big lover of short stories. I mean I don’t dislike them but I can’t say I feel a need to read them. I don’t get a craving for them. So far the short stories that I truly love were Julio Cortazar’s.
The book contains selected stories with plots revolving around a crime being committed and Father Brown solving it. I think most of them were surprising and one memorable quote for me was : “The criminal is the creative process; the detective only the critic.” Considering I am watching a show called “The Wire” this fits quite nicely. There were many stories that seemed out of this world but then quickly explained realistically and logically. Some were more imaginative than others. But all through them I never had a sense of righteousness between good versus evil and I even appreciated the shift of the character Flambeau form a criminal to a detective. Bringing this to “The Wire” again I hope my favourite character, Omar will do the same. Very unlikely.
I found a little bit of the Emerican Anglish bickering. Its “good” to see that certain things are well rooted. Father Brown dismisses the results of lie detectors and considers that only Americans could believe that such things are reliable. I guess he would be surprised to see that now lie detectors are frequently used all over the world.
At the end of the book I had the feeling I would like to watch a TV series based on them and that I would like to have a nice long conversation with Father Brown about religion and life. He seemed like a person with great story telling potential.
In the meantime I am cheering for Omar to be the new Flambeau. How naïve of me.