“Rather heavy reading at the begininng but it is exceedingly interesting later. G. K. C style is very impressive and smooth.
He is witty and philosophical throughout the book. (an absurd philosophy) The last chapter is of particular interest with its moral.”
- H. C. Baker, 1946
When I’d finished Chesterton’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill I found the review above pencilled in after the last paragraph. I like that 64 years ago this person read the same copy and thought they’d make a note of their views on the book; perhaps they then passed the book on or perhaps they kept it and just wrote the review for their own memory, but I’m thinking they probably didn’t suspect that over six decades later someone would publish it on a computer (which at the time had existed solely to crack Enigma) and make it visible to the world.
I found the book a very good read, I’d definitely agree that it was both exceedingly interesting and philosophical but I didn’t think it was heavy reading at the start. It was amusing and fun but I particularly liked how Chesterton managed to play with so many styles; the whole concept was comic but at the same time he played with action and stirring speeches, particularly from the Adam Wayne character, that were at the same time Shakespearean in style and yet surreally amusing. The author really gives free reign to his imagination and creates an action comedy that at the same time manages to make pithy commentary on human nature.