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The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)

av G. K. Chesterton

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Father Brown (1), Colección Crisol 302

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1,469449,108 (3.61)125
Father Brown is a seemingly innocent man of the cloth, whimsical yet wise, who exhibits uncanny insight into ingeniously tricky human problems. This collection includes twelve mysteries solved by the redoubtable Father Brown.



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An interesting set of tales about an assuming yet cleverly observant priest. One star reduced for some casual racism. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
I adore G.K. Chesterton, and he annoys the hell out of me.

He was an incredibly smart thinker, and a writer of enormous talents, but he seems to have a knack of rubbing me up the wrong way. His Father Brown stories are a perfect case in point. They are detective stories with almost no action, in which everything is told not shown - typically, our eponymous investigator arrives at the scene of a crime and, usually after the police have jumped the obvious, and wrong, conclusion, he elucidates the facts of the case that he has gleaned through a mixture of observation and encyclopaedic knowledge, in a way which would make Sherlock Holmes seem both naive and modest.

However, while the intricate puzzle-game of the crime is, as was the fashion in early- and mid-20th century mystery fiction, part of it, the point of these stories isn’t really the mystery. As with all of Chesterton’s writing, it is a discussion of ethics and spirituality - and I do mean very much a discussion, as Chesterton is the frighteningly intelligent old man sitting with his cigar and brandy, speaking aloud his thoughts as he ponders.

This is, I think, one of the things that leads to my annoyance. He is prone to contradiction - at one point he has Father Brown refer to atheists as being more intellectually honest than many Christians, and in the next tale almost the precise opposite. He makes statements that are utterly nonsensical - “every man who sleeps believes in God”, he writes (what?) and at one point the detective’s reasoning is that a man is not a Catholic as he claimed as “no Catholic would behave in that way”.

Such idiocies makes me want to throw the book across the room - at least partly as I am fairly certain Chesterton knows exactly what he’s saying. It would be perfectly possible to put contradictory statements in the voices of other characters, rather than his own mouthpiece of the priest, but the author seems perfectly happy to own his statements with full knowledge of their failings. Or perhaps I give him too much credit.

There are other problems; At first I wasn’t sure if I’d accuse Chesterton of misogyny as much as barely being aware that women exist. In the only story in this collection in which women feature, The Eye of Apollo, he is very disparaging of feminism and of women’s minds, however.

The overarching theme of the stories is redemption. This is set out in the first story, The Blue Cross - also the most action packed, where the great French detective Valentin is pursuing his arch-nemesis, the master criminal Flambeau, across London in a chase reminiscent of The Man Who Was Thursday, which actually sets up at arc that runs through the series, but redemption also features in several other individual tales.

So I get a lot out of reading Chesterton, even if some of that is exasperation. I guess that means he’s making me engage my brain. Let’s see how the next four collections go.
( )
  Pezski | Jun 21, 2020 |

Siempre tuve predilección por las historias de detectives. Holmes, Poirot, Marlowe, Akechi... Me faltaba, no obstante, el favorito de Borges: el Padre Brown.
Lo primero que me llamó la atención: son cuentos cortos. Una veintena de páginas cada uno, en promedio. Seguro, los crímenes en sí no son super extravagantes; no me parece que haya sido esa la intención de Chesterton.
Tal vez eso desoriente un poco a los lectores de otros exponentes del género, como Arthur Conan Doyle o Agatha Christie; de hecho el primer par de relatos me dejaron un sabor de boca bastante indiferente. Pero conforme me fui familiarizando con el modus operandi del Padre Brown, comprendí que no es el hilvanado de pruebas, sino el raciocinio y, en parte, la intuición sumamente acertada del curita de Yorkshire, lo que hace a estas narraciones geniales. Su conocimiento del ser humano lo lleva, incluso en aquellos casos en que se percibe cierto aire demoníaco, a desenmascarar a la única oscuridad presente: la del alma humana. ( )
  little_raven | Jun 1, 2020 |
Somewhat uneven development of a nice character. The priest as detective ploy works, but the random choices of locations for the stories was somewhat upsetting. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
If you know Chesterton's Father Brown from the recent PBS series featuring Mark Williams, you may not recognize him in this story collection. [The Innocence of Father Brown] is Chesterton's first story collection, published in 1910.

Brown is a cleric, as he says in one story, "a fisher of men." He's not always intent on identifying a miscreant and turning him (or her) in to the authorities for trial and earthly punishment. In the run of these stories, he thwarts the famous thief Flambeau in several capers, and eventually he persuades Flambeau to give up his life of crime. In one story, he sorts out the event to his own satisfaction, then walks away. In another, Father Brown counsels a murderer, privately telling how he committed the crime. Further, he promises that he, Brown, will say no more of the crime to anyone. And he makes the promise, confident that the murderer will confess to the police.

Among the stories:

The Secret Garden
Valentin, a highly respected French police official, has guests, including Father Brown, for dinner at his home. Though not all the guests are on good terms with each other, the occasion proceeds pleasantly. Then a man's body is discovered in Valentin's walled garden, which is accessible only from the house and only through one door.

  'Examine him, doctor,' cried Valentin rather sharply. 'He may not be dead.'
  The doctor bent down. 'He is not quite cold, but I am afraid he is dead enough,' he answered. 'Just help me to lift him up.'
  They lifted him an inch from the ground, and all doubts as to his being really dead were settled at once and frightfully. The head fell away.

The Queer Feet
Father Brown is called to an exclusive hotel to conduct last rites for a waiter who has died suddenly. At the same, a quirky and exclusive and reclusive men's club is holding a banquet meeting. As the fish course ends, the wait staff realizes that the valuable silverware has disappeared. Father Brown returns it.

  'I don't know his real name,' the priest said placidly; 'but I know something of his fighting weight, and a great deal about his spiritual difficulties. I formed the physical estimate while he was trying to throttle me, and the moral estimate when he repented.'
  'Oh, I say—repented!' cried young Chester, with a sort of crow of laughter.
  Father Brown got to his feet, putting his hands behind him. 'Odd, isn't it,' he said, 'that a thief and a vagabond should repent, when so many who are rich and secure remain hard and frivolous, and without fruit for God or man? But there, if you will excuse me, you trespass it little upon my province. If you doubt the penitence as a practical fact, there are your knives and forks. You are The Twelve True Fishers, and there are all your silver fish. But He has made me a fisher of men.'

The Flying Stars
Brown and Flambeau tangle again, and again Brown talks to the thief.

  'I want you to give them back, Flambeau, and I want you to give up this life…
  'Your downward steps have begun. You used to boast of doing nothing mean, but you are doing something mean tonight...'

The Invisible Man
An inventor and businessman (Mr. Smythe) gets a series of letters threatening his life. He locks himself in his apartment (which has but one entrance). A team of watchers see no one enter or leave, yet Smythe vanishes from the apartment, leaving behind a large blood stain on the floor. A policeman discovers the body about a block away. Whoever the villain is is invisible. To all but Father Brown, who exclaims to his fellow (unofficial) investigators:

  ...'Stupid of me! I forgot to ask the policeman something. I wonder if they found a light brown sack.'
  'Why a light brown sack?' asked Angus, astonished.
  'Because if it any other coloured sack, the case must begin over again,' said Father Brown; 'but if it was a light brown sack, why, the case is finished.'

The Eye of Apollo
After all is said and done, Father Brown tells his friend:

…'I knew...the criminal before I came into the front door.'
  'You must be joking!' cried Flambeau.
  'I'm quite serious,' answered the priest. 'I tell you I knew he had done it, even before I knew what he had done.'

Oh, I do like this Father Brown.
  weird_O | Nov 20, 2019 |
Visa 1-5 av 39 (nästa | visa alla)
This rumpled, clumsy detective-priest appeared in 52 short stories, 48 of them collected in five volumes during Chesterton's lifetime. The strongest of the stories are the earliest--"The Blue Cross," "The Secret Garden," "The Wrong Shape," "The Sins of Prince Saradine," "The Honour of Israel Gow," and seven others that all appeared in the first collection, The Innocence of Father Brown (1911), a work the prominent pseudonymous American mystery writer Ellery Queen called "the miracle-book of 1911" and "one of the finest volumes of short stories ever conceived and written." These tales were written when inspiration was strong upon Chesterton, and the key concept of Father Brown and his potential were fresh and exciting to the author.

Each of these early stories is a tightly plotted gem, with fresh dialogue, surprising twists, gorgeous scene-painting, and--most important--a main character who solves and thwarts crimes not by CSI-style clue-chasing or Sherlockian inductive reasoning but by his knowledge of the passions that motivate men. The key to Father Brown's powers of insight lies in the fact that among his daily duties is hearing the confessions of his flock. "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?" he asks one astonished would-be robber--his greatest antagonist (and in time his best friend), Hercule Flambeau.
tillagd av JamesMcArdle | ändraFather Brown at 100.(Book review). National Review, 62(18), 48., James E. Person (Dec 22, 2018)

» Lägg till fler författare (46 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Chesterton, G. K.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Amlie, AxelÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Brioschi, LuigiFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Costanzi, RemoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Edwardsen, Per ThÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kukkola, LeaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kukkola, TimoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Larsstuvold, RuneFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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A waiter came swiftly along the room, and then stopped dead. His stoppage was as silent as his tread; but all those vague and kindly gentlemen were so used to the utter smoothness of the unseen machinery which surrounded and supported their lives, that a waiter doing anything unexpected was a start and a jar. They felt as you and I would feel if the inanimate world disobeyed-- if a chair ran away from us.
Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down.
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Father Brown is a seemingly innocent man of the cloth, whimsical yet wise, who exhibits uncanny insight into ingeniously tricky human problems. This collection includes twelve mysteries solved by the redoubtable Father Brown.

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