About this and this, he cried; about order and anarchy. There is your precious order, that lean, iron lamp, ugly and barren; and there is anarchy, rich, living, reproducing itself—there is anarchy, splendid in green and gold.
The Man Who Was Thursday
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
At first read, G.K. Chesterton’s the Man Who Was Thursday is a zany mystery story filled with often surreal twists that turn more traditional thrillers on their ear. Set in a fantastic London where the ridiculous never nears the sublime, our hero, Gabriel Syme revolts against the status quo and breaks out as—normal. Yet Syme’s normalcy provides the perfect foil to illustrate the insanity around him—and for Chesterton to illustrate the insanity he saw in turn-of-the-century London.