The Man Who Was Thursday
, the title alone makes you want to grab the book. It definitely helps that since its publication in 1908, the book has gone through a series of covers, each better than the next.
The book begins with a poem called the ‘Nightmare
’, which I posted on my blog recently
, and seems to suggest that the entire book was just a horrid old dream. The first chapter too paints a psychedelic imagery of red brick houses and red sunset and a red haired man, i.e. the Saffron Park. It does all feel like a dream, till two poets begin to debate on whether order or chaos is the true spirit of poetry. I kid you not, one of these poets is a man of law (an underclothes policeman called Gabriel Syme
) and the other poet is an anarchist named Gregory.
I have read that Anarchists
in the early 1900s regularly shot people and Presidents and caused ‘reigns of terror’. (That is an exaggeration, no, it isn't.
) They may not call themselves that anymore, but every secessionist movement and every terrorist outfit is definitely a manifestation of anarchism?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the debate gets really heated, and Gabriel Syme outwits Gregory to reveal some unsavoury secrets. With some quick and clever thinking, our genius and poetic hero, Syme, manages to infiltrate a band of anarchists, called the Council
. Each member of this Council is named after a day of the week (here lies a hint
), and Syme is appointed to the post of Thursday. Syme’s real goal is to flout the plans of the Council, save the world, and expose the notorious head of the gang, the man everyone calls Bloody Sunday.
Will Syme succeed?
Stop here, if you don’t want me to ruin the book for you with my spoilers.( Read the rest of Spoiler-Filled Review.... )