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The Annotated Innocence of Father Brown (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 26. März 1987

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As well as annotation, Martin Gardner provides a substantial introduction to this, the first and in many people's view the best collection of Father Brown stories, and includes a full bibliography and a selection of illustrations.


Father Brown, an ordinary priest whose unremarkable exterior conceals extraordinary crime-solving ability, is celebrated for his solutions to metaphysical mysteries, a genre perfected by his creator, G. K. Chesterton. More than lighthearted comedies built around puzzling crimes, these superbly written tales contain deeply perceptive philosophical reflections.
"The Innocence of Father Brown" (1911) was the first collection of stories featuring the ecclesiastical sleuth and is widely considered the best. In this annotated edition of the collection, the Chesterton scholar Martin Gardner provides detailed notes and background information on various aspects of such stories as "The Blue Cross," "The Secret Garden," "The Invisible Man," "The Hammer of God," "The Eye of Apollo," and seven more, as well as an informative introduction and an extensive bibliography. Included also are eight illustrations reproduced from the first edition. The result is an indispensable companion for all Chesterton enthusiasts and a perfect introduction for anyone who has yet to meet the incomparable Father Brown. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Format: Taschenbuch
A masterpiece. GK Chesterton here introduces his character, and does it with flying colours (first & second short stories are impeccable, and offer two elegant surprises to the reader). Chesterton was the master of paradoxes, and his style ranks him among the greatest British writers of all times. No doubt these are crime stories (or whodounits) but they are also literary masterpieces.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen 8 Rezensionen
23 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen 5 stars for the text; 3 stars for the footnotes. 27. November 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I've read a lot of Chesterton in the last year or so, and I guess I have mixed feelings about his work in general and this book in particular. Chesterton provides extraordinarily beautiful word pictures. I feel like taking a trip to England just to see if the real English sky can match a fraction of the descriptions Chesterton gives it. (Smog abatement measures may have made a fair comparison impossible.) Chesterton's love of paradox can be fun, but it may be best to take it in small doses for optimal enjoyment. The Father Brown stories are short enough that the character development suffers in comparison with G.K.'s novels; on the other hand, these stories benefit from omission of some of the more bizarre flights of fancy found in his longer works.
Now for the footnotes. I've been reading Martin Gardner for a long time. As a young boy, I spent many hours in the local library reading and enjoying his columns in archived copies of Scientific American. I must say that I find his footnotes in this book somewhat obtrusive. They seem to give away too much of the plot too early, and are probably, therefore, best for a second reading of the text. Gardner has deep philosophical differences with Chesterton, and although he does a fairly good job of restraining himself, there are occasions when he apparently can't resist giving us his two cents. I found that a little annoying. The footnotes in the Ignatius edition of _The Man Who Knew to Much_ are an example of what I would have preferred in this book.
26 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen PALER FIRE 22. Januar 2006
Von Khrysserx - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have been trying to recall, but I can't ever remember reading a stranger or more disappointing book than `The Annotated Innocence of Father Brown'. The text itself may be passed over, of course - it is the first collection of Father Brown mysteries by the great Edwardian writer G. K. Chesterton, and they are superb. Luckily they are available in many other editions than this one.

No, the sour note comes from the annotator, elucidator and irritator Martin Gardner. As a devout Carollian, I have owned and treasured his `Annotated Alice" and his `Annotated Snark' for many years, and I consider them absolutely indispensable. But in these Carrollian books he displays none of the cranky egomania he parades in this Chesterton volume.

He begins the edition with a furious tirade against a fellow self-important prig called Owen Edwards, about their conflict over some Chestertonian tidbit which would possibly be of slight interest to eight people in the world, and infuriating to no one. It is a hallmark of certain academics that, although they often take themselves with almost Ciceronian seriousness, they always end up behaving like children fighting over the best marbles.

Gardner also seems to have no concept of the pacing and careful building of suspense necessary in a mystery story, interrupting the action regularly to give us discursive information - for example, that Swinburne once lived in Putney, what `billiard chalk' is, who lived in Hampstead that was fantastically famous, and who Father Christmas is. Most amazingly, he takes a teeny-tiny reference to `Sunny Jim', an old advertising character for cereal flakes, from `The Three Tools of Death', and writes three entire pages of footnotes on Sunny Jim's history, nothing of which has the slightest connection with the Chesterton story and seem merely an excuse for Gardner to show how much more useless effluvia he knows than you do.

Charles Kinbote merely misrepresented the poetry of John Shade in Nabokov's story for his own selfish ends - Gardner seems completely undirected in his attitude towards Chesterton. He alternately gives the impression that G.K. was a deluded Catholic (Gardner himself is proud to tell you, in the introduction, that he is a `creedless philosophical theist' - which means, I think, if it means anything, `someone who is always right about everything and is ever so smug about it'), an admirable Thomist, a genius, a hack, and so on. Granted, Chesterton was many things, perhaps even all of these. But he was a humane and huge and vital man, and Gardner in this book seems like nothing more than one of those little gray fish that attach themselves to enormous sharks and then swim around with them for life, probably telling themselves `Hey look at me! I'm a great big shark!'

If you still like to be aggravated by this particular annotator, get this edition. If you like to read Chesterton, get another book.
19 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Master of Paradoxes, well built crimes 20. Oktober 1999
Von CLAUDIO - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
A masterpiece. GK Chesterton here introduces his character, and does it with flying colours (first & second short stories are impeccable, and offer two elegant surprises to the reader). Chesterton was the master of paradoxes, and his style ranks him among the greatest British writers of all times. No doubt these are crime stories (or whodounits) but they are also literary masterpieces.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ingenious, entertaining and spiritually insightful 21. Oktober 2000
Von Sheila L. Beaumont - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
"The Innocence of Father Brown" is the first book of G.K. Chesterton's ingenious, thoughtful and lyrically written mystery short stories featuring the unassuming little priest who solves crimes by imagining himself inside the mind and soul of the criminal and understanding his motives. The stories are full of paradox, spiritual insight, and "Chestertonian fantasy," or seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.
This particular edition is enhanced by Martin Gardner's extensive notes, which are both entertaining and illuminating. He points out that it's worthwhile to take your time in reading GKC's stories so you can savor their many arresting, beautifully worded sentences. And by reading too fast, you might also miss out on some very subtle puns (there's one in the story "The Secret Garden" that would have gone right past me had not Mr. Gardner pointed it out!).
At the end, you'll find an index of annotations, plus a comprehensive Father Brown bibliography compiled by Chesterton expert John Peterson. If you enjoy this book, you'll probably also like "The Annotated Thursday," Gardner's edition of GKC's "The Man Who Was Thursday."
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Improbable But Logically Possible - Entertaining and Fun 24. Dezember 2001
Von Michael Wischmeyer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The Father Brown stories are a bit fantastic and improbable, but that is true of Sherlock Holmes too. For the reader unfamiliar with G. K. Chesterton's creation, this quiet, somewhat shy priest will be a surprise.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are so familiar that today's readers sometimes need to remind themselves that these two friends are indeed fictional characters. For many it may be difficult to imagine, much less accept, that other private detectives were also at work unraveling crimes in the fictional realm of Sherlock Holmes.

Father Brown coexisted in London with Holmes (during Sherlock's later years), but it is not obvious that they ever collaborated. While both exhibited a unique genius, their cases and their methods were indeed different. The solutions to Father Brown's mysteries are often improbable, but logically consistent, and usually have a metaphysical or moral aspect. Father Brown is not a sheltered cleric unaware of sin and evil, but just the reverse. He is able to place himself in the mind of the perpetrator, thereby seeing solutions that the reader fails to notice. Like Holmes, he is often more interested in understanding and solving a mystery, rather than meting out human justice.

Matin Gardner's extended footnotes clarify references that otherwise might be obscure today such as Edwardian manners, outdated technology, London landmarks, literary references, etc. The footnotes are not essential, but I found Gardner's annotation useful and entertaining.

The five Father Brown collections (53 stories in all) begin with these 12 stories,"The Innocence of Father Brown". Father Brown won't displace Sherlock Holmes, but you will not regret getting to know Holmes's clever contemporary.
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