Kate Christensen picks The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
Kingsley Amis called it "the most thrilling book I have ever read." I started reading G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday on a subway ride, almost missed my stop and walked home thumbing pages. It's a wacky, nightmarish, deliriously well-written adventure story for grownups in which nothing is what it seems and everyone wears a mask, whether figurative or literal. Thursday, real name Gabriel Syme, is a poet turned detective gone undercover in an anarchists' society, determined to foil its bomb plot and dismantle the forces of modern pessimism, atheism and chaos. The characters and landscapes he encounters are so vividly depicted, they crackle on the page. I agree with Amis: it's hard to think of a more thrilling book.
Christensen's most recent novel, Trouble, was published in June
Listen to the extended interview: Kate Christensen talks to TIME about her summer reads
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