Customer Reviews for

The Everlasting Man

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
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  • Posted November 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Reunion of Romance and Philosophy

    The Everlasting Man has got to be on the list of the top five books I have ever read, on any subject, fiction or nonfiction. This, Chesterton's greatest work, is more than a mere apology; more than a mere outline of human history, though it is that. It covers the interior, one might say psychological, history of the human condition and the human experience, breaking our spiritual history into four columns - monotheism, mythology, philosophy, and diabolism - and shows how Christianity satisfies the mythic hunger for romance while at the same time satisfying the rational and philosophical hunger for truth. Chesterton is one of the sanest, most insightful, and wittiest authors I've ever read. His strength lies in seeing through popular illusions and fallacies and dispelling them, while salvaging everything in them that is good and truly human. Though he insists that Pagan religions are not really religions in the sense we mean today ("We know the meaning of all the myths. We know the last secret revealed to the perfect initiate. And it is not the voice of a priest or a prophet saying 'These things are.' It is the voice of a dreamer and an idealist crying, 'Why cannot these things be?'"), he nevertheless honors these old religions by holding up the healthy and human aspects which characterized them ("When we say that they also have temples and idols and priests and periodical festivals.we only mean that Pagans have more sense than Puritans"). Dismissing the comparative approach to mythology and folklore, Chesterton reasserts the romantic view and its essential nature as part of human identity and experience. This echoes such utterly sane and utterly delightful statements he has made in other books ("This elementary wonder, however, is not a mere fancy derived from the fairy tales; on the contrary, all the fire of the fairy tales is derived from this." - Orthodoxy). The fascinating thing about Chesterton is that he satisfies all aspects of the reader's mind (largely because his subject does so as well), the rational and the emotional. He is a Liberal in the older, classical sense, and looks down upon conservatives and progressives alike. His wit is gymnastic and his insight and intellect piercing like a narrow sword. There is not much more I can say, save that if there is only one book on Christianity or religion or mythology that you ever read, this should be it.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2005

    Everlasting Chesterton

    It's a strange thing how society takes so many preconceived notions and makes them out to be facts; and how easily we accept those supposed facts without any reflection. Everlasting Man is an absolutely incredible read that may just challenge the way you think about everything. With his characteristic wit and common sense, Chesterton makes a strikingly beautiful case for Christianity. He transforms the usual into the unusual, and along the way startles the reader into seeing what he knew previously in a new way. 'There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there; The other is to walk round the whole world till we come back to the same place; and I tried to trace such a journey.' Chesterton knew that it was only through seeing the ordinary in a new way that we experience how truly extraordinary the ordinary is. This was the book that influenced C.S. Lewis; it's not difficult to see why.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Brilliant

    For so long I've heard of Chesterton & read others quoting him. This introduction to the man himself was inspiring and I'm on my way to another book by this unique, brilliant, and humorous literary giant. As a huge Lewis & Tolkein fan, I've discovered another friend whose wisdom and intellect is enlightening and challenging. His analysis of comparative religions is stunningly clear & irrefutable.

    The format worked well for me.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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