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Father Brown : The Complete Collection (Illustrated) - 53 Short Stories + Free Audiobooks

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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] This book is the most comprehensive collection of Father Brown. It contains all Father Brown short stories and on top of that, it has been expanded with a bonus feature. DETAILED CONTENT : • The Innocence of Father Brown - 12 Short Stories • The Wisdom of Father Brow [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] This book is the most comprehensive collection of Father Brown. It contains all Father Brown short stories and on top of that, it has been expanded with a bonus feature. DETAILED CONTENT : • The Innocence of Father Brown - 12 Short Stories • The Wisdom of Father Brown - 12 Short Stories • The Donnington Affair • The Incredulity of Father Brown - 8 Short Stories • The Secret of Father Brown - 10 Short Stories • The Scandal of Father Brown - 9 Short Stories • The Mask of Midas BONUS : • The Innocence of Father Brown Audiobook • The Wisdom of Father Brown Audiobook • The 49 Best G. K. Chesterton Quotes • A G. K. Chesterton Chronology • 9 Illustrations About G. K. Chesterton ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] This book is the most comprehensive collection of Father Brown. It contains all Father Brown short stories and on top of that, it has been expanded with a bonus feature. DETAILED CONTENT : • The Innocence of Father Brown - 12 Short Stories • The Wisdom of Father Brow [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] This book is the most comprehensive collection of Father Brown. It contains all Father Brown short stories and on top of that, it has been expanded with a bonus feature. DETAILED CONTENT : • The Innocence of Father Brown - 12 Short Stories • The Wisdom of Father Brown - 12 Short Stories • The Donnington Affair • The Incredulity of Father Brown - 8 Short Stories • The Secret of Father Brown - 10 Short Stories • The Scandal of Father Brown - 9 Short Stories • The Mask of Midas BONUS : • The Innocence of Father Brown Audiobook • The Wisdom of Father Brown Audiobook • The 49 Best G. K. Chesterton Quotes • A G. K. Chesterton Chronology • 9 Illustrations About G. K. Chesterton ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for Father Brown : The Complete Collection (Illustrated) - 53 Short Stories + Free Audiobooks

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Deringer

    The omnibus is the exhaustive collection of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown short stories. If you've got a taste for detective stories and clever, British tones, then you'll love it. The omnibus is huge and I've been working through it for about 8 months. Take it a story at a time with a cup of hot tea and low lighting! The omnibus is the exhaustive collection of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown short stories. If you've got a taste for detective stories and clever, British tones, then you'll love it. The omnibus is huge and I've been working through it for about 8 months. Take it a story at a time with a cup of hot tea and low lighting!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I feel kind of harsh giving this book 2 stars, since I really enjoyed the first five stories, which were the ones I was reading for university. In fact, I enjoyed them so much I decided to carry on reading this 700-odd page anthology, even though the required reading for the module was only the first 125pp or so. Taken on its own, Book 1, "The Innocence of Father Brown", would have easily earned an extra star or two from me. Book 2, "The Wisdom of Father Brown", was still fun to read, but I foun I feel kind of harsh giving this book 2 stars, since I really enjoyed the first five stories, which were the ones I was reading for university. In fact, I enjoyed them so much I decided to carry on reading this 700-odd page anthology, even though the required reading for the module was only the first 125pp or so. Taken on its own, Book 1, "The Innocence of Father Brown", would have easily earned an extra star or two from me. Book 2, "The Wisdom of Father Brown", was still fun to read, but I found the stories were starting to feel either slightly repetitive, as Chesterton resorted to similar plots as those he used in the first collection, or confusing and unsatisfying in their resolutions. I only made it halfway through the second story in Book 3, "The Incredulity of Father Brown", before giving up - I just wasn't being drawn in by the premise any more, especially as Father Brown was by now inexplicably transplanted from his quaint English parish to a globe-trotting career as spiritual adviser to the rich and famous in the Americas. (Seriously, did I miss something there?). Usually I'm loath to give up on a book, but this downturn occurred just shy of the collection's halfway mark, and I decided that on this occasion it was simply an unjustified investment of my time to hang on to the end, 400 or so pages away, just to see if things improved. Not that I'm accusing Chesterton of being a bad writer; he's funny and his characters are engaging in ways that make up for the odd unbelievable moment or plot hole, the sort that are to be found in any long-running detective series. But, as the introduction to the volume informed me when I turned to it for answers, the author was writing from Book 3 onwards under some duress. Like Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, Chesterton had grown tired of his signature creation and wanted to retire him; as with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, public demand for more Father Brown stories eventually wore down the author's resistance; but unlike Conan Doyle and Christie, Chesterton does not, to my mind, succeed in hiding his boredom with the series. The situations become more outlandish as if to make up for the fact that the endearing heart of the original few stories has gone. And for me, it just didn't work. I think that perhaps I'd have had more patience with this series if I'd been reading the five or six original collections separately, rather than in one complete volume. I love Agatha Christie, particularly the Hercule Poirot series, but I think I'd get bored reading all the Poirot stories back-to-back in a single collection, too; this style of presentation does serve to highlight some of the repetitions and escalations that are present in most long-running detective series, but that aren't particularly obvious or bothersome if you read them with a decent gap in-between. I hope to come back to my copy of the Complete Father Brown some day, with fresh eyes and a few other books to read alongside it, to break it up into stand-alone short stories as they were originally intended to be read. In the meantime, I'd recommend anyone who loves detective fiction to go out and find a copy of "The Innocence of Father Brown", but to consider reading it and judging it by itself and on its own merits, rather than using this collection as an introduction to the character and the series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Oh my...how much do I love Father Brown? I don't have a crush on him like I do on Lord Peter Wimsey, but he's so wise and compassionate and unassuming that I wish he was my priest. Not that I have a priest, or would really know what to do if I did. But that's how much I like him. Oh my...how much do I love Father Brown? I don't have a crush on him like I do on Lord Peter Wimsey, but he's so wise and compassionate and unassuming that I wish he was my priest. Not that I have a priest, or would really know what to do if I did. But that's how much I like him.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lora

    I so enjoy dipping into these time and again. One brief story before I have to cook supper; one story before bed. A story read out loud to change the mood of intractable children; one story to remind me again of the forgotten joy of being human. Sometimes I read reviews of older literature and someone is often angsting about the book offending entire classes of people. I find I would rather read an old book that assumes women are weak than a new book that assumes they must be sexually aggressive I so enjoy dipping into these time and again. One brief story before I have to cook supper; one story before bed. A story read out loud to change the mood of intractable children; one story to remind me again of the forgotten joy of being human. Sometimes I read reviews of older literature and someone is often angsting about the book offending entire classes of people. I find I would rather read an old book that assumes women are weak than a new book that assumes they must be sexually aggressive in explicit ways. And if I fall into a category that is supposedly offended, why just let me alone to deal with the offense on my own, or accept that I find no offense whatsoever! The Father Brown mysteries do get strecthed thin at times. There are just too many of them not to! At the same time, they are well done, many are nearly perfect in timing, mood, and reasoning. The characters are interesting. The religious melding of thinking and feeling is SUCH a breath of fresh air in our day of artificial boundaries between science and faith, or thinking and feeling. Those boundaries are stupid. They are like the man looking at himself in the mirror and deciding that his head is more important than his heart, or that his brain is the only thing in his head that thinks. Anyway, Father Brown makes for wonderful mystery stories, fantastic doses of irony, finely chiselled humor, and all well supprtive of Christianity, true reasoning, absolute truth, and decent humanity. I am so glad I discovered these. Our paper copy has suffered in its loyal service to our reading needs in the family. I am pleased to say that we now have digital copies on the kindle. I've come back to add a little detail because I am working my way through the series again. Resurrection of Father Brown continues to be my favorite, or next to fave including The Blue Cross. The God of the Gong actually horrified me more than last time with the nasty comments about lynching and so on. These stories run the gamut. Some almost make no sense whatsoever. Others shine like jewels on display in a museum.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Gustafson

    Snap, crackle, pop! A crime, a cast of suspects and a solution. All within about twenty pages although the “pop” often lands just behind your ear with a subtle, soft blow because Father Brown is such a sly little devil. These clever mysteries are not three-course meals. They are cheese nibbles for the quick-thinking reader, not mystery banquets for the gullible with more time on their hands than brains. Like Stilton, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Cheddar, Brie, Munster or Gouda, on their own or with a na Snap, crackle, pop! A crime, a cast of suspects and a solution. All within about twenty pages although the “pop” often lands just behind your ear with a subtle, soft blow because Father Brown is such a sly little devil. These clever mysteries are not three-course meals. They are cheese nibbles for the quick-thinking reader, not mystery banquets for the gullible with more time on their hands than brains. Like Stilton, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Cheddar, Brie, Munster or Gouda, on their own or with a nano-ploop of honey or a smidge of fig jam to heighten their sultry allure, these delicious snacks must be savored one-at-a-time, not more than once a day. So take your time. Hide your cheese! G.K. Chesterton was one of the greatest twentieth century essayists with a diabolical sense of humor. Fiction was but a sideline. “The poets,” he once observed, “have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” Neither Chesterton, Father Brown nor this writer have ever been able to solve that peculiar mystery.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Father Brown is to psychology what Sherlock Holmes is to material evidence. Re-reading these last Fall, I found that the chief pleasure and merit of the Father Brown mystery stories is getting inside the mind of Chesterton himself. The stories themselves are uneven in worth -- I got the impression that Chesterton churned them out, occasionally pausing over insurmountable implausibilities and plot defects but then just moving on with a shrug. Even so, they are fully as clever as any television de Father Brown is to psychology what Sherlock Holmes is to material evidence. Re-reading these last Fall, I found that the chief pleasure and merit of the Father Brown mystery stories is getting inside the mind of Chesterton himself. The stories themselves are uneven in worth -- I got the impression that Chesterton churned them out, occasionally pausing over insurmountable implausibilities and plot defects but then just moving on with a shrug. Even so, they are fully as clever as any television detective episode I've seen and the nuggets of psychological wisdom are delightful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Rapinchuk

    Father Brown is simply one of the best characters ever created--a blend of brilliance, joy, and simplicity. The stories are engaging, the endings are believable, sometimes even solvable, but never obviously predictable or boring. With five volumes, there are inevitably certain similarities in some stories, but Chesterton finds a way to make each story unique. The first two volumes ( The Innocence and Wisdom of Father Brown) are the best, but some excellent stories are sprinkled throughout the ot Father Brown is simply one of the best characters ever created--a blend of brilliance, joy, and simplicity. The stories are engaging, the endings are believable, sometimes even solvable, but never obviously predictable or boring. With five volumes, there are inevitably certain similarities in some stories, but Chesterton finds a way to make each story unique. The first two volumes ( The Innocence and Wisdom of Father Brown) are the best, but some excellent stories are sprinkled throughout the other three volumes, and I didn't think any story disappointed. Fans of Chesterton or fans of mysteries of this era (Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, or slightly earlier Doyle's Sherlock Holmes) will love Father Brown.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I remember really enjoying these when I was a pre-teen (and also feeling like my brain exploded every single story); should definitely come back to the collection sometime.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Shropshire

    I notice that it has taken me two months exactly to read this omnibus of all the Father Brown stories. Father Brown is unlike any other detective in fiction. His approach to solving crime - usually murders - is to imagine himself as the murderer: ’I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully,’ went on Father Brown, ‘I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like t I notice that it has taken me two months exactly to read this omnibus of all the Father Brown stories. Father Brown is unlike any other detective in fiction. His approach to solving crime - usually murders - is to imagine himself as the murderer: ’I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully,’ went on Father Brown, ‘I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the murderer myself, of course I knew who he was.’ ******** ’And when you spoke merely in defence of your friend – no, sir, I can’t imagine any gentleman double-crossing another under such circumstances; it would be a damned sight better to be a dirty informer and sell men’s blood for money. But in a case like this —! Could you conceive any man being such a Judas?’ ‘I could try.’ said Father Brown. It is quite obvious from his writing that Chesterton was a brilliant man. He is sometimes difficult to follow - impossible, in fact, for a casual reader. The reader must read carefully to understand his meanings. But his writing is not only cerebral, but beautifully descriptive and poetic, if sometimes a bit dark or gruesome, but always his descriptions set an atmosphere. It was one of those rare atmospheres in which a smoked-glass slide seems to have been slid away from between us and Nature; so that even dark colours on that day look more gorgeous than bright colours on the cloudier days. ******* . . . the blood was crawling out from under his fallen face like a pattern of scarlet snakes that glittered evilly in that unnatural subterranean light. ******* . . . the tree-tops in front of them stood up like pale green flames against a sky steadily blackening with storm, through every shade of purple and violet. The same light struck strips of the lawn and garden beds; and whatever it illuminated seemed more mysteriously sombre and secret for the light. The garden bed was dotted with tulips that looked like drops of dark blood, and some of which one might have sworn were truly black;. . . It is not a surprise that Chesterton’s writings as saturated, as it were, with his religious beliefs - doubly so since his hero is a Roman Catholic priest. Father Brown’s character is complex and sometimes seems to hold contradictory views. He upholds traditional values, and so would be today classified Conservative. And yet he is very much on the side of the so-called “common people;” the workers, the poor, the rag-dressed beggars. Most would today call that a Liberal view. And yet in Chesterton’s Christianity, that is the orthodox view; it follows the teachings of Christ. I deliberately read this slowly; I allowed myself two or three stories per day, and I think this is the most effective and beneficial way of reading it. I didn’t read from it every day, and thus I didn’t tire of so many stories back to back. One final note: this book was published in 1899, and it contains many slang words relating to ethnicities that are considered offensive and taboo today. There are points at which Father Brown’s character makes statements that a modern reader will interpret as racist. I tried not to judge this book - published over 100 years ago - by my modern sensibilities. If you have less tolerance for this sort of thing, you might want to skip it. Honestly, there was one story that was so bad that I skimmed over it. (The God of the Gongs in “The Wisdom of Father Brown” had virtually no redeeming features.) That is why I gave this 4 stars instead of 5; because while I try not to judge older writings for this aspect, still, it lessens my enjoyment.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Wow. I picked up this book because I was enjoy mysteries that are neither cozy nor thrillers, so I find that older mysteries are more to my taste. However, I didn't really enjoy these at all. While I thought some of the solutions were problematic, as in "The Invisible Man", and I was put off by the fact that people kept getting killed right under Father Brown's nose, my main problem was with the tone of the stories. A short, incomplete list of people who might be offended by these stories includ Wow. I picked up this book because I was enjoy mysteries that are neither cozy nor thrillers, so I find that older mysteries are more to my taste. However, I didn't really enjoy these at all. While I thought some of the solutions were problematic, as in "The Invisible Man", and I was put off by the fact that people kept getting killed right under Father Brown's nose, my main problem was with the tone of the stories. A short, incomplete list of people who might be offended by these stories include: women, Jews, black people, Asians, Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, pagans, Italians, Americans, union members, actors, Communists, intellectuals, Celts, Scottish people...basically, if you are not a white male English Catholic, you might want to be prepared for something insulting to be said about you at some point. I realize that these stories were written before WWII, but jeez. On the plus side, these are blessedly short, tightly written stories that won't take up too much of your time. They're so easy to read that I finished the whole book, despite several headdesk moments. I also like the character of Father Brown, a kindly priest who understands the criminal mind because his religion's emphasis on the sinful nature of all mankind. Chesterton is very imaginative author, and some bits are quite funny. I liked the emphasis on redeeming the criminals in these cases--in so many mysteries, it's just toss them in the poky and be done with it. So, you might enjoy these if you can look past the outdated stereotypes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

    Father Brown is one of my favourite fictional detectives because G. K. Chesterton embodied him with a wonderful sense of time and place. The strength of Chesterton's Father Brown stories lie in their diversity (brilliant, contemplative and bizarre - sometimes all at once) consistent cleverness and wide range of themes (far more depth then I usually expect from mysteries). 'The Complete Father Brown' is a volume packed with so much top-notch quality material that one read really only captures the Father Brown is one of my favourite fictional detectives because G. K. Chesterton embodied him with a wonderful sense of time and place. The strength of Chesterton's Father Brown stories lie in their diversity (brilliant, contemplative and bizarre - sometimes all at once) consistent cleverness and wide range of themes (far more depth then I usually expect from mysteries). 'The Complete Father Brown' is a volume packed with so much top-notch quality material that one read really only captures the surface. I now understand completely why Chesterton's Father Brown was so transformative for the mystery genre (especially when other authors like Agatha Christie seem superficial by comparison).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    Got myself re acquainted with these old classics. They are witty, wordy, beautifully written examples of golden age mysteries. One loves them, fondly remembers them, then goes for something completely different since these mysteries were absolutely improbable. I could almost hear Raymond Chandler gnashing his teeth as I read and enjoyed 'The Worst Crime in the World'. Recommended for pleasant reading. Take your time. Know that whatever you are reading are fantastic and not to be taken too serious Got myself re acquainted with these old classics. They are witty, wordy, beautifully written examples of golden age mysteries. One loves them, fondly remembers them, then goes for something completely different since these mysteries were absolutely improbable. I could almost hear Raymond Chandler gnashing his teeth as I read and enjoyed 'The Worst Crime in the World'. Recommended for pleasant reading. Take your time. Know that whatever you are reading are fantastic and not to be taken too seriously. Then and only then you might extract maximum pleasure from them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Review for THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN read 1/06/19 - 1/13/19 4.5:5 stars How do I review a book that is so thoroughly EPIC?! Think Sherlock Holmes as a little, round priest, and you have Father Brown. That isn't to say that the Father Brown stories and the Sherlock Holmes stories are nearly identical. G. K. Chesterton and Arthur C. Doyle are two very different writers, and their mystery writing is the first place which proves that. I've discovered that in the Father Brown stories you often come u Review for THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN read 1/06/19 - 1/13/19 4.5:5 stars How do I review a book that is so thoroughly EPIC?! Think Sherlock Holmes as a little, round priest, and you have Father Brown. That isn't to say that the Father Brown stories and the Sherlock Holmes stories are nearly identical. G. K. Chesterton and Arthur C. Doyle are two very different writers, and their mystery writing is the first place which proves that. I've discovered that in the Father Brown stories you often come upon startlingly insightful one-liners. G. K. Chesterton is also a master at creating that deliciously creepy atmosphere perfect for a good mystery (think THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, Poe, and Hitchcock). Best short quotes: "The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen." "The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic." "Every clever crime is founded ultimately on some one quite simple fact --- some fact that is not in itself mysterious. The mystification comes in covering it up, in leading men's thoughts away from it." "Have you ever noticed this --- that people never answer what you say? They answer what you mean --- or what they think you mean." "You are my own only friend in the world, and I want to talk to you. Or, perhaps, be silent with you." "We have taken a wrong turning, and come to a wrong place. . . . Never mind; one can sometimes do good by being the right person in the wrong place." "Cheerfulness without humor is a very trying thing." Never mind the long quotes. Read this book to unearth them on your own! I won't go on to reading THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN immediately because too many short stories all in a row are the perfect way to ruin my appreciation of a certain author. Even so, I look forward to reading more of G. K. Chesterton's amazing imaginations! ~~~ Read The Wisdom of Father Brown 6/30/19-12/31/19 4 stars

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ari Joy

    I'm a little sad that I've finished it, since it was the complete Father Brown. The last time I went to read it I hated it; I found it priggish, and overly concerned with darkness. But now, I guess, it reads to me like someone who might feel the world has forgotten what sin is; has forgotten what the snarls of the human soul can be like and get to, in the worst of times. Have we really forgotten so well? I don't like to think of sin, but Father Brown makes me think of it in the most prosaic way, I'm a little sad that I've finished it, since it was the complete Father Brown. The last time I went to read it I hated it; I found it priggish, and overly concerned with darkness. But now, I guess, it reads to me like someone who might feel the world has forgotten what sin is; has forgotten what the snarls of the human soul can be like and get to, in the worst of times. Have we really forgotten so well? I don't like to think of sin, but Father Brown makes me think of it in the most prosaic way, as though it were simply a matter of being straight and good, or not. He makes me want to be good. Truly. And I think, that's the best kind of effect a book can have. One wonders, did Chesterton conduct the 'spiritual exercise' he has his little priest follow, of delving so completely into the heart of every human twist as to see it in himself, and forgive, and realize how near he was to it? One wonders if Chesterton were as uncommonly good as this little priest is, with his simplicity, and his rationality, and his kindness.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shabbeer Hassan

    Father Brown, the diminutive, sharp-witted, pious clergyman and a part-time detective, is rather a fun character by Chesterton. Comprising of all stories written by him starring Brown and the gentleman thief turned faithful companion Hercule Flambeau clearly modelled after Lupin, is a veritable read around the holidays. This along with the audio dramatization by BBC and the long-running ITV series starring Mark Williams form a complete package of sorts for lovers of whodunits and whimsical chara Father Brown, the diminutive, sharp-witted, pious clergyman and a part-time detective, is rather a fun character by Chesterton. Comprising of all stories written by him starring Brown and the gentleman thief turned faithful companion Hercule Flambeau clearly modelled after Lupin, is a veritable read around the holidays. This along with the audio dramatization by BBC and the long-running ITV series starring Mark Williams form a complete package of sorts for lovers of whodunits and whimsical characters! Definitely goes to my yearly re-read list along with Christie and MR James. My rating - 5/5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    When I was young there was a Father Brown TV show which I loved. Much later, I decided to actually read the short stories, and enjoyed them as well. Good, old fashioned vintage mysteries. And now with the new BBC version with Mark Williams, I'm beginning to wonder whether I ought to read them again. When I was young there was a Father Brown TV show which I loved. Much later, I decided to actually read the short stories, and enjoyed them as well. Good, old fashioned vintage mysteries. And now with the new BBC version with Mark Williams, I'm beginning to wonder whether I ought to read them again.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    WOW! It has taken me a long time to finish this but what an enjoyable time! I had been watching the TV series while reading this book; both are enjoyable but basically chalk and cheese. I found the written stories to be subtle, ironic and intelligent. The TV adaptation was also intelligent but focused softly on a cast of characters and setting that change the tone of the mystery.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Descriptive, interesting plots and cast, love the series. Have reread and will again. text/audio/etext versions. Some free etext and audio versions on librivox.org and Gutenberg.org. Hard/soft covers on Amazon.com and radio broadcast versions on audiobook.com.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Les Wilson

    As I have said many times in the past,it is difficult giving a rating to a compilation. This is the case again as I rate the stories individually from 2 to 4. So I feel I have to split the difference and give it a 3.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trinity Vinton

    This is one among my most favorites! I have read and re-read and re-read. . . A must read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cliff

    I feel a bit mean in giving this only three stars, but really are the Father Brown stories really that good. I first read them over 50 years ago and on this re reading remembered nothing - apart from the famous postman. Let's think about that first. The story as is well known hangs on the fact that nobody noticed the postman enter the building where the crime was committed. Now I just don't buy that. If a person were asked if anyone had entered a building, surely the answer would be no one excep I feel a bit mean in giving this only three stars, but really are the Father Brown stories really that good. I first read them over 50 years ago and on this re reading remembered nothing - apart from the famous postman. Let's think about that first. The story as is well known hangs on the fact that nobody noticed the postman enter the building where the crime was committed. Now I just don't buy that. If a person were asked if anyone had entered a building, surely the answer would be no one except the postman, not just 'nobody'. I found the lack of a sense of place irritating. Holmes had Baker Street, Wimsey London and the family seat, Rebus Edinburgh, Morse Oxford etc etc. But not so Brown. In the first story where he is noticed on the train by the French policeman seeking Flambeau we learn that Brown is a humble parish priest of a village in Essex. That village is never named again. Much later another Essex village is named en passant but again only once. However, between these two mentions another story puts him as the priest in charge of a fashionable parish in Kensington. In between these posts he dashes hither and yon around England Europe and the Americas. One wonders where this humble priest gets all the money for these junkets. The series is riddled with inconsistencies. When we first meet Flambeau he is Europe's most wanted. Brown assists in his apprehension but within a couple of stories he's a reformed character and running his own detective business. Did not the master criminal spend any time behind bars? In the first book of stories we are told that 27 years earlier Brown had spent some time in Chicago where he helped the local police. Yet in a later book he goes to the USA 'for the first time'. I get the definite feeling that Chesterton didn't really like writing the books - certainly after the first two. Indeed the edition I read had a preface which tells us that he only continued to write further stories for the money. To me it shows. Which brings me to my last point. The books are very much of their time. The 'n' word is frequently used. Anywhere far off is referred to as 'the Cannibal Islands'. People, especially foreigners and villains are often described as having yellow faces. Something that in all my years I've never seen. Southern Europeans tend to be 'dagoes' and suspect - apart, that is, from the Spanish Flambeau - but even he is stereotyped with long drooping moustaches.i

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

    Wow, that was a LOT of stories... Father Brown makes for a fascinating counterpoint to Sherlock Holmes. Whereas Holmes uses cold logic and hard facts to solve mysteries, Father Brown relies on his intuition, his knowledge of the human condition, and his ability to imagine himself in other people's shoes. Holmes is tall and lean, while Brown is short and stocky. Holmes projects a sense of unmatchable competence, whereas Brown initially strikes people as a bumbler, possibly even a fool. Holmes is d Wow, that was a LOT of stories... Father Brown makes for a fascinating counterpoint to Sherlock Holmes. Whereas Holmes uses cold logic and hard facts to solve mysteries, Father Brown relies on his intuition, his knowledge of the human condition, and his ability to imagine himself in other people's shoes. Holmes is tall and lean, while Brown is short and stocky. Holmes projects a sense of unmatchable competence, whereas Brown initially strikes people as a bumbler, possibly even a fool. Holmes is direct and to-the-point; Brown has a tendency to speak in enigmatic riddles. As much as I enjoy a good Conan Doyle mystery, I find Chesterton's take on the detective formula to be a good deal more clever. For example, Doyle afforded Homes an office on Baker Street, where clients could conveniently show up on his doorstep and unburden themselves of the particulars of a given case. Chesterton, however, denied himself the luxury of this approach and instead came up with a fresh, novel explanation for Father Brown's involvement with each mystery. Often, this means that Brown doesn't even appear until halfway through the story, or he might simply function as a background character up until the moment when he finally steps forward to solve the case. The fact that one can never really be certain when and how Father Brown will turn up gives these stories a greater sense of variety and unpredictability than your typical Holmes adventure. Chesterton also injects a great deal of humor in the proceedings, even poking fun at himself from time to time by subtly referencing the inherent absurdity of a country priest getting wrapped up in more murders than a big city policeman could hope to dream of. Chesterton also makes things difficult on himself by insisting that each story illustrate a larger philosophical point. It is his success in doing so that makes these stories as satisfying as they are. Because, let's face it, if it's sheer entertainment value you're looking for, then Conan Doyle has Chesterton beat. Comparatively speaking, Brown's adventures are slow, wordy, and lacking in excitement, and Chesterton certainly puts a higher demand on his readers. However, the jaw-dropping sophistication of Chesterton's writing and the weighty philosophical musings he imparts more than make up for the fact that these stories are hard to get into, and that the answers to his puzzles sometimes strain credulity.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tyas

    Father Brown is a Catholic priest who somehow always gets involved in crime - as the one who solves the case, of course. But Father Brown doesn't seem to have logical methods like Sherlock Holmes, or Hercule Poirot, perhaps. In fact he oftentimes looks like a dreamy, absent-minded clergyman whose words nobody may understand. Several times people think he has known who the culprit is and is telling them to capture the man - when all he's saying is that the man is a witness or somebody who knows m Father Brown is a Catholic priest who somehow always gets involved in crime - as the one who solves the case, of course. But Father Brown doesn't seem to have logical methods like Sherlock Holmes, or Hercule Poirot, perhaps. In fact he oftentimes looks like a dreamy, absent-minded clergyman whose words nobody may understand. Several times people think he has known who the culprit is and is telling them to capture the man - when all he's saying is that the man is a witness or somebody who knows much about the case. This leads to some serious inconvenience, of course. The story that I remember the most is The Honour of Israel Gow - in which Father Brown shows that there are a lot of conclusions or explanations that we can get from the same set of evidence. Many of the stories are very funny, and the mystery and the mystery-solving that follows remarkable, but the latest stories lack the depth and wit of the older stories. Add Chesterton's Catholicism that got even thicker with every publication of Father Brown's stories, and the 'racist' remarks made in so many places in them, you probably may think that the stories are despicable. But don't let the views of early 20th century hamper your enjoyment of one of the gems of the detective genre. Father Brown may not be as famous as he used to be nowadays, but he's actually one of the greatest, if not the strangest, characters of the genre that portrays the men and women of 'detection'.

  24. 4 out of 5

    J.T. Wilson

    The first couple of books are essential, with Flambeau as Brown’s Moriarty and, later and less effectively, his Dr Watson. The mysteries throughout are intriguing and the solution never obvious. There’s an autumnal, crepuscular feel to the early stories; it’s not for nothing that the first story concludes in a wood at dusk. The later stories are rather more of a mixed bag. Whenever Brown is in North or South America (stories probably cobbled together for commissions in magazines) the story sucks. The first couple of books are essential, with Flambeau as Brown’s Moriarty and, later and less effectively, his Dr Watson. The mysteries throughout are intriguing and the solution never obvious. There’s an autumnal, crepuscular feel to the early stories; it’s not for nothing that the first story concludes in a wood at dusk. The later stories are rather more of a mixed bag. Whenever Brown is in North or South America (stories probably cobbled together for commissions in magazines) the story sucks. ‘The Donnington Affair’, a sort of exquisite corpse where Max Pemberton wrote one half and Chesterton contributed a solution, only includes Chesterton’s half, rendering it incomprehensible. There’s also no getting around Chesterton’s constant use of racist epithets (often not even slurring accurately). The non-white characters are rarely the villains: characters forced by circumstance to meet Muslims or Buddhists for the first time tend to blame them quickly when a murder is committed; Brown however sees the truth. However, the good father isn’t above dropping the n-word or calling Julius Caesar a “dago” either, and nor is the narrative voice. Chesterton was accused in his lifetime of anti-Semitism; whatever his private thoughts about Jewish people, they’re not offered here. In short: read ‘The Innocence’ and ‘The Wisdom’, then consider it case closed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deborah O'Carroll

    An omnibus collection of all 5 books (plus an extra short story) of Father Brown, totaling 51 short stories in all, which I picked up when a friend was getting rid of some books. I just love the Father Brown stories! Especially the ones with criminal/criminal-turned-detective, Flambeau, who’s a great friend of Father Brown. I enjoy mysteries but I don’t usually have enough patience for a full novel-length one, so mystery short stories are my favorite, and these were all so unique and awesome. Fa An omnibus collection of all 5 books (plus an extra short story) of Father Brown, totaling 51 short stories in all, which I picked up when a friend was getting rid of some books. I just love the Father Brown stories! Especially the ones with criminal/criminal-turned-detective, Flambeau, who’s a great friend of Father Brown. I enjoy mysteries but I don’t usually have enough patience for a full novel-length one, so mystery short stories are my favorite, and these were all so unique and awesome. Father Brown is such a unique and unexpected detective, so unassuming but smart and also humble… He just IS. And pair him with clever mysteries and my favorite character Flambeau and they’re just awesome stories with this great “feel” to them. I just really enjoy them and I’ve read the entire collection at least twice and want to read it again. To me, they’re right up there with the classic Holmes stories as far as mysteries go. <3

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    G.K. Chesterton wrote these relatively gentle accounts of a parish priest who had a knack for crime-solving in the 1920s. The stories are fairly short, and are usually solved by logic combined with Father Brown's spiritual viewpoint. A piece of Scripture occasionally sneaks in, but more often an allusion to the life of a saint or other religious figure will aid Father Brown in the solution to the dilemma. Not all stories have a religious slant, but Chesterton's attitude is always evident in his G.K. Chesterton wrote these relatively gentle accounts of a parish priest who had a knack for crime-solving in the 1920s. The stories are fairly short, and are usually solved by logic combined with Father Brown's spiritual viewpoint. A piece of Scripture occasionally sneaks in, but more often an allusion to the life of a saint or other religious figure will aid Father Brown in the solution to the dilemma. Not all stories have a religious slant, but Chesterton's attitude is always evident in his depiction of "the real Father Brown, who is not broken at all; but goes stumping with his stout umbrella through life, liking most of the people in it; accepting the world as his companion, but never as his judge."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Westbrook

    After listening to one of the audio plays on my mp3 player, I thought I would read this quintessential little English priest's adventures through the world of crime. Been putting if off for a while but decided a new year would be a great time to start it. Only after realizing that each story was just a few pages long, it was just one story after another of some little priest jumping to conclusions and everyone, including the culprit, just assuming God's man knows best and either giving themselv After listening to one of the audio plays on my mp3 player, I thought I would read this quintessential little English priest's adventures through the world of crime. Been putting if off for a while but decided a new year would be a great time to start it. Only after realizing that each story was just a few pages long, it was just one story after another of some little priest jumping to conclusions and everyone, including the culprit, just assuming God's man knows best and either giving themselves up or accepting it as Gospel truth. Was a bit unimpressed

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzieh

    I enjoy watching Father Brown Mysteries on BBC America so I decided to read the stories. The writing was different because of when it was written but I still found the book enjoyable. Of course, as I read the book, I pictured Father Brown like the actor on the tv show.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Justine Olawsky

    I FINALLY FINISHED!! Not that it took me 2 years of steady reading - I read most of the first half in 2020, a couple stories in the middle in 2021, and finished the bulk of the second half in just the past two weeks - but, boy, it feels good to be done. And, actually, I think the especially long delay between reading the first half of the book and the second half redounded to my greater appreciation for Fr. Brown and these mysteries. I found myself far more enchanted with the stories when I retur I FINALLY FINISHED!! Not that it took me 2 years of steady reading - I read most of the first half in 2020, a couple stories in the middle in 2021, and finished the bulk of the second half in just the past two weeks - but, boy, it feels good to be done. And, actually, I think the especially long delay between reading the first half of the book and the second half redounded to my greater appreciation for Fr. Brown and these mysteries. I found myself far more enchanted with the stories when I returned to this volume in earnest in late March 2022 (probably because I had been spending too much time with John Dickson Carr, whom I found not at all enchanting). GKC packed a lot of wisdom into the mouth of his stumpy little round cleric, and when I visited again with him, I was able to receive it with a better-dispositioned heart. So, what were some highlights? Well, as you may imagine, two years on, the first half is a bit of a blur. This omnibus collection is made up of the five collections released during Chesterton's lifetime, as well as two unpublished works tacked on at the end. I always enjoyed "The Hammer of God," "The Wrong Shape," and "The Invisible Man" from the first collection. Looking over the second collection and half the third collection, I don't remember much - other than "The Oracle of the Dog" which had an interesting plot turn based upon how dogs retrieve items thrown for them. So, I really picked this back up halfway through the third collection. And ended up enjoying many of them quite a bit - and none of them not at all. Faves to my recollection were "The Curse of the Golden Cross" with its long narrative interlude as Chesterton's contribution to 1920s archeological thrillers, "The Doom of the Darnaways" which had a nice Gothic vibe and pinned the plotting to art and books, and "The Ghost of Gideon Wise," which took class warfare along a different path. The fourth collection highlights for me were "The Man with Two Beards" which showed Fr. Brown in his unique role as a confessor, "The Worst Crime in the World" which showed Fr. Brown in a family role as guardian and advisor to his niece, and "The Chief Mourner of Marne" which showed Fr. Brown in his role as defender of Catholic faith. The fifth collection had a lot of gems. For me, "The Quick One" was a fun study of human nature, "The Blast of the Book" was fun all around, and "The Crime of the Communist" had a nice switcheroo vibe to it. Of the final two previously unpublished stories, "The Donnington Affair" was not bad, and I did not like "The Mask of Midas" at all. For a fun ranking of ALL the stories in this huge collection, I commend to you this listing from John Clegg of the London Review Bookshop. I will enjoy re-dipping into the world of Father Brown many times in the years to come, I am sure. 😊

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Davis

    It’s hard to give a star rating at all because the quality of the stories varies so wildly from one to the next. I tend to agree with the popular consensus that the earlier stories tend to be better. But the reason to read these at all is for the character of Father Brown. A priest who solves crimes, who puts more emphasis on saving souls than bringing the guilty to justice, Brown is a wonderful invention. While others believe him to be simple or naive, Father Brown succeeds precisely because he It’s hard to give a star rating at all because the quality of the stories varies so wildly from one to the next. I tend to agree with the popular consensus that the earlier stories tend to be better. But the reason to read these at all is for the character of Father Brown. A priest who solves crimes, who puts more emphasis on saving souls than bringing the guilty to justice, Brown is a wonderful invention. While others believe him to be simple or naive, Father Brown succeeds precisely because he has deep insight into the depravity all of us are capable of. As he points out, don’t you think someone who spends all day hearing confessions would have some knowledge of sin? And far from the cold detached logic of Sherlock Holmes, being able to put himself in the murderer’s mental and emotional state is what leads him to the truth. But while I enjoyed Father Brown the character, many of the lesser Father Brown stories were implausible, or meandered greatly before ending with jarring abruptness. Not that Chesterton doesn’t have skill with the written word (his descriptions are beautifully poetic, and many of Brown’s monologues are amazing) but I think he didn’t always succeed in structuring and pacing a mystery story well. Then there’s the issue of racial slurs. I can’t be too hard on stories written 100 years ago in this regard, I suppose. But what I really find offensive are the racial stereotypes on display - by some of the characters certainly but seemingly by the narrative point of view in a few cases (“The God of the Gongs” is particularly horrible). And the worst part is, this should be out of character for Father Brown, someone who believes in individual choices, not racial or genetic destiny, someone who should believe people from all races and religions are equally capable of grievous sin. For those interested in the character, I do highly recommend the recent BBC show starring Mark Williams (aka Arthur Weasley!) as Father Brown. I think they do justice to his character in a well-written series of mysteries, updating the setting to postwar small town England. And while some of the episodes are loosely based on the stories, most are original and someone who hasn’t read the stories would be able to enjoy them just as well.

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