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Old 05-07-2007, 11:11 AM   #1
HarryT
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Post Chesterton, G.K.: Father Brown Omnibus. v5, 9 July 2009

The complete "Father Brown" stories of G.K.Chesterton. This omnibus contains the following books:

1. The Innocence of Father Brown
2. The Wisdom of Father Brown
3. The Incredulity of Father Brown
4. The Secret of Father Brown
5. The Scandal of Father Brown

More information (from "Wikipedia"): No real spoilers here, so feel free to read it!

Father Brown is a short, stumpy Catholic priest, "formerly of Cobhole in Essex, and now working in London", with shapeless clothes and a large umbrella, but an uncanny insight into human evil.

He makes his first appearance in the famous story "The Blue Cross" and continues through the five volumes of short stories, often assisted by the reformed criminal Flambeau.

Unlike his more famous co-detective Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown's methods tend to be intuitive rather than deductive. He explains his method in "The Secret of Father Brown": "You see, I had murdered them all myself... I had planned out each of the crimes very carefully. 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."

Father Brown's abilities are also considerably shaped by his experience as a priest and confessor. In "The Blue Cross", when asked by Flambeau, who has been masquerading as a priest, how he knew of all sorts of criminal "horrors", he responds: "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 also states a reason why he knew Flambeau was not a priest: "You attacked reason. It's bad theology." And indeed, the stories normally contain a rational explanation of who the murderer was and how Brown worked it out.

Despite his devotion, or perhaps, because of it, Father Brown always emphasises rationality: some stories, such as "The Miracle of Moon Crescent" and "The Blast of the Book", poke fun at initially sceptical characters who become convinced of a supernatural explanation for some strange occurrence, while Father Brown, despite, or rather because of, his religion and his belief in God and miracles, easily sees the perfectly ordinary, natural explanation. In fact, he seems to represent an ideal of a devout, yet considerably educated and "civilised" clergyman.

Enjoy!

EDIT: 6 Nov 07

Uploaded v2. Improved formatting, preserved dashes.

EDIT: 23 MAR 08

Recreated the book to fix a problem with paragraph breaks. Uploaded v4.

EDIT: 9 Jul 09

Thoroughly proof-read the book against the Penguin edition of "The Complete Father Brown". Fixed several thousand errors as a result, and restored all the missing italics, accented letters, and other formatting which had been lost in the text-only source files. Uploaded v5.


Previous download count: 681
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Last edited by HarryT; 07-09-2009 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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good show old chap
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
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Hmmm. From the description there seems to be at least some surface similarities with the Father Dowling Mysyteries -- anyone know if the show might have been influenced by Father Brown?

Just a random wondering.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:10 PM   #4
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Oh yes, I remember that show . I suppose the concept might very well have been "inspired" by Father Brown, but the style is rather more - how shall I put it? - sedate? in Father Brown. There was a TV series of FB made by the BBC in the 1970s. I'm slightly surprised it hasn't been televised more often - there are some great stories, and I'd have thought that it would make good TV.

Have you not come across these books before, Nat?
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #5
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I expect the greater sedateness (to use your word) is attributable to the cultural difference between 1910~35 England and 1987~91 U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
Have you not come across these books before, Nat?
Nope, they're a total ... novelty to me.

I do have a lot of history with Sherlock Holmes, however, so these caught my attention. My library seems to be growing in new and totally unexpected directions lately. I mostly blame you for that, by the way.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:56 PM   #6
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I happily hold up my hands to it. If I can introduce people to new authors and they enjoy them, I'll feel that I'll have done something useful with my otherwise worthless life .

Since I started doing these "Reader" books my own "must read" list has just receded out over the horizon. I must have YEARS worth of reading to do now. What a terrible situation to be in!

Let me know what you think of FB if you get a chance to read any of it. It's a very different style to SH, but I'm sure you'll enjoy them all the same.

Did you notice the "Raffles" books I posted recently? If you've not read those, then I thoroughly recommend them too.

So much to read, so little time. What's a fellow to do? ....
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
So much to read, so little time. What's a fellow to do? ....
Read faster?

That's precisely the reason I haven't downloaded everything that's found itself posted here. I do have books that I particularly mean to read, and it's getting harder to keep them straight. (of course the fact that we're getting ourselves worked up to move to another state in a few months could have a little something to do with that, too, I suppose)

In any case, a most excellent dilemma, indeed.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:29 PM   #8
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I love this overflow of books I want to read! (Personally, the horror/mystical/fantasy books aren't my thing despite their general popularity with most scifi readers, but almost everything else has been very interesting to me.) Being overwhelmed with good chioces is much better than browsing PG aimlessly hoping to find something that catches my eye, and then referencing against Amazon or Wikipedia to try and see if I still want to read it after a description is found.

I've read some of the Father Brown books before and they weren't exciting enough to keep me reading the whole lot, but like a lot of books, sometimes it takes more than one try before I get through things. My own mental deficiencies, I'm sure.

But they are relatively famous mysteries, and unlike most books, there is even a scene that sticks in my head from one of them. Usually, nothing really sticks, but even after maybe 5-10yrs, I still remember a scene with a restaurant up some stairs that was the scene of (I hope) one of his mysteries. I might check it out to remember that story if nothing else! But books are always more fun when formatted nicer also!
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:12 PM   #9
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Yes, Father Brow was the muse for the Father Dowling Mysteries of US TV. Just as a film does not always run true to the book, neither did the TV series run true to the book.

There was a French version of Sherlock Holmes with a streak of Mack the Knife thrown in for good measure, a fellow just one step up from those he sought -- Arsene Lupin. I have found 6 of the 20 books and have started to post them. I cannot say what order they were published.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:25 PM   #10
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OH Boy! OH Boy! Warm and fuzzy childhood memories. My dad is an avid mistery reader and use to read these to me as a kid. I will be downloading these for sure.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:38 AM   #11
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Uploaded v2 with significantly improved formatting.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:25 AM   #12
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The Father Dowling books were written by Ralph McInerny, a professor at Notre Dame who specialized in philosophy. While he may have gotten some ideas from Chesterton, the books are very much his own.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:38 AM   #13
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Recreated the book to fix a problem with paragraph breaks. Uploaded v4.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:58 PM   #14
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Kevin O'Brien on The Innocence of Father Brown: A Dramatic Reading

Kevin O'Brien, dramatic interpreter of The Innocence of Father Brown says, “I think in many ways Chesterston wrote Father Brown to be the anti-Holmes, because Sherlock Holmes was always on top of everything...whereas Father Brown is a lot more like Colombo.”

Listen here:

http://radio.nationalreview.com/betw...RhNzkwNDExMDQ=
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:56 AM   #15
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Thoroughly proof-read the book against the Penguin edition of "The Complete Father Brown". Fixed several thousand errors as a result, and restored all the missing italics, accented letters, and other formatting which had been lost in the text-only source files. Uploaded v5.
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