Kevin Belmonte holds a BA in English Literature and two MA's in Church History and American and New England studies. He is the author of several books including William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity and winner of the prestigious John Pollock Award for Christian Biography
The Quotable Chesterton: The Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chestertonby Kevin Belmonte
G. K. Chesterton was a literary giant of his age. With an exceptional intellect, he wrote about history, politics, economics, philosophy, social and literary criticism, and theology. He published essays, novels, biographies, short stories, and poetry, and the Christian classics Heretics, Orthodoxy, and The Everlasting Man, which C. S./i>/i>/i>/p>
G. K. Chesterton was a literary giant of his age. With an exceptional intellect, he wrote about history, politics, economics, philosophy, social and literary criticism, and theology. He published essays, novels, biographies, short stories, and poetry, and the Christian classics Heretics, Orthodoxy, and The Everlasting Man, which C. S. Lewis credits as instrumental in his conversion to Christianity.
With much of his finest material out of print or hard to find, modern readers have long needed a standard collection of his best thoughts. Kevin Belmonte’s The Quotable Chesterton brings them to you arranged alphabetically by topic, with complete original source documentation.
There are entries from Adventure to Cheese, Politics to Émile Zola, interspersed with essays about Chesterton’s life and times. Hundreds of passages drawn from Chesterton’s fiction, poetry, essays, and other books showcase a man the New York Times hailed as a “brilliant English essayist” and George Bernard Shaw called a “colossal genius.”
“There isn’t a writer who gets me pacing and smiling and thinking like G.K. Chesterton. His every paradigm shift is an adjustment to my mental compass, and so a gift.” —DONALD MILLER, author of the New York Times bestsellers A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Blue Like Jazz
“Over the years, I have delivered thousands of lectures, speeches, talks, and sermons; I have written hundreds of articles, essays, books, and reviews; it is an exceedingly rare occasion when any of them should fail to contain the words ‘Chesterton once said.’ Kevin Belmonte here reveals that fountain of wit, wisdom, and wonder, G.K. Chesterton, in all his irresistibly, irrepressibly, quotable splendor.”—GEORGE GRANT, Pastor, Parish Presbyterian Church, and Chancellor, New College Franklin
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Kevin Belmonte offers all readers a treasure of gold bits from Chesterton’s chest. Alphabetized by topics ranging from “Academia” to “Zola, Emile.” Belmonte confesses that his desire in his book was to be comparable to Tyndale’s The Quotable C.S. Lewis–offering snapshots and pithy statements that boil Chesterton to essentials of his contributions. I would recommend Belmonte’s monograph as a way to stoke humor in your heart and tickle your brain cells. Chesterton is a master of language and turn of phrase. What I appreciated the most was the thoroughness of the quotations. Rather than various subjects extraneous to Chesterton organizing the quotations, Belmonte lets Chesterton organize his own thoughts. It would be helpful to get a biography on Chesterton to read prior to so that you can get context for some of his irony and double entendre.
"The Quotable Chesterton" by: G. K. Chesterton The very subtitle on the cover of the book says it all. G. K. Chesterton is certainly a man of both wit and wisdom. And if my humble opinion matters he has proven his wit and wisdom in this book. Compact yes, but this little compact work of art is packed with powerful quotes that are a must read for every preacher, teacher, or any public speaker who uses his voice to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I would say that "The Quotable Chesterton" is valuable to any speaker who wants to make his audience laugh. The book is a must for any speaker who wants his audience to pay close attention. If you are speaking to the heart and soul this book will not let you down when it comes to useful information. Not only is the book packed with information; it doesn't take long to find it, read it, and/or to transplant it into you're a transcript from which you are working. To say the least (for my lack of better wording in this review) "The Quotable Chesterton" needs to be on the bookshelf or desk of any speaker who values a good reservoir to draw from.
The first time I read Chesterton, I was amused. The second time I read Chesterton, I was amazed. Chesterton got it. He was at once a Renaissance man, literary machine, imposing figure, and follower of Jesus. Good writers quote Chesterton. Great writers devour Chesterton. Kevin Belmonte has done the world a great service by collecting and arranging alphabetically by topic some 870 Chesterton quotations. While most people will never pick up one of Chesterton's books or read one of his many essays, almost everyone has heard a Chesterton quote. Chesterton shows up in graduation speeches as well as Presidential State of the Union addresses and everywhere in between. Chesterton's writings were a stepping stone for C.S. Lewis "embrace of Christianity." Lewis writes, "In reading Chesterton, as in reading [George] MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his readings. There are traps everywhere - 'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as [George] Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous." If you've never read Chesterton, or if he's your favorite, you must read this book. I dog-eared so many pages the book would barely close. From quotations about academia to Emile Zola, from Charles Dickens to original sin, few topics were left undisturbed by Chesterton.
My first exposure to Chesterton was the quote, "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten" which I read in Neil Gaiman's Coraline. Over the years, some of my other favorite fantasy writers quoted Chesterton and I told myself, "I have to read some Chesterton." The Quotable Chesterton is just that -- "some Chesterton". It's a collection of writings put together from his numerous essays, novels, biographies, short stories, poetry and Christian classics arranged in alphabetical order according to topics from "Adventure" to "Zola, Emile". The book proved to be a good introduction to Chesterton's writing as the quotes selected were eclectic and the Endnotes are comprehensive enough for those who want to pick up the actual books. Personally, I would prefer reading each of those books individually rather than as a medley of snippets. I had some trouble picking up on the context of the quotes. Since there was no build up, I also found it hard to identify with the characters from his fiction writings. I would have liked to know more about the quote selection process, that is, why some quotes were picked over the others. I would have liked more information about the various pieces that the quotes were taken from for better contextualization. Overall though, I thought it was a good collection. It has given me a starting point for my reading of Chesterton. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The Quotable Chesterton, by Kevin Belmonte, is a collection of C. K. Chesterton's most quotable writings on nearly every subject under the sun. For anyone like me who has yet to be introduced to Chesterton writings, and doesn't know where to start - this might be a good place. Chesterton is a prime example of someone greatly gifted by God who used his abilities to bless the Christian world and affect the secular one. One could make the argument that he is one of the best in his trade. The pages are graced with quotes which before digesting require a weeks worth of chewing on. One of my favorites? "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions" (page 64, discernment). However, I must confess, I am an individual that judges a book by its cover. Honestly, I never would have opened this book had I not been on the mission to review it. The cover art comes across as a crass caricature of Chesterton, drawing attention to his large belligerent mouth. This does not seem in line with the collection itself. I cracked open this book expecting to dive into it like any novel and quickly learned my mistake. It would be better packaged as a coffee table hardcover; one that you would peruse occasionally over time or use as a reference book. This book was reviewed for Booksneeze.
Before having picked up a copy of this book, I knew no more of G.K. Chesterton than that he was a mystery novelist from whom the likes of Dorothy Sayers got inspiration. Perhaps I have been reading the wrong genre of books for too long, but I was not aware that Chesterton was also the great Christian apologist of his day, one who inspired other authors in genres beyond mystery. For example, C.S. Lewis himself owed a great deal to Chesterton, for it was through Chesterton's apologetic works and novels that Lewis began doubting his own agnosticism. Such a powerful author and such a powerful man, Chesterton certainly is a man worth reading. I believe that this fact plus the fact that Chesterton was also a prolific author made me most happy to have a copy of The Quotable Chesterton on hand. Kevin Belmonte has already performed the hard work of first mining the books and letters and newspaper articles of old and then beautifully displaying the gems that stand out above the rest. He has formatted his books of nearly 850 quotes topically in alphabetical order. He has also supplied ten brief biographical or character sketches of Chesterton throughout the book, making this an enjoyably fast-paced, half-organized/half-A.D.D presentation of the wisdom of a man far smarter than those we breed today. I encourage you to pick up this book for light reading (it will become a permanent fixture on my bathroom's bookshelf, for example) and for an opportunity to enjoy and crave for the times when great men like Chesterton effortlessly exuded wisdom and savvy remarks. [Note: I received this book free for review from Thomas Nelson] © 2011 E.T.
Kevin Belmonte's The Quotable Chesterton is a collection of quotes from the writings of the late great Christian writer G. K. Chesterton. Belmonte put this collection together in an effort to collect all in one place examples of Chesterton's wisdom and literary genius. The book's intent is to get people familiar with Chesterton's work in both capaciousness and constitution. Belmonte's message is Chesterton's message: bringing Christian wisdom, humor, and morals to the masses through a vast array of fiction and nonfiction works. As a quote book, The Quotable Chesterton does what it is meant to do: it quotes. But it goes beyond that. As a writer, I found this book interesting because I am always interested in what other writers think/thought. Each quote is an opportunity to stop and reflect on what is being said. Each quote makes you want to go purchase the book the quote was extracted from, if for no other reason than clarification purposes. You get the sense that Chesterton was a great writer, even if you find yourself arguing with his talking points. I was intrigued by the way that Belmonte treated Chesterton's fiction works, quoting them like scriptures or parables. Other quote books I've read tend to quote only nonfiction works and speeches or the occasional line of poetry, but not whole paragraphs of text and dialogue from a work of fiction. Even though quote books aren't meant to be read cover-to-cover in a single sitting, I found myself turning page after page, wondering what would come next. I particularly enjoyed Belmonte's decision to separate the Chesterton quotes first into distinct alphabetized categories and secondly into styles of writing or parts of Chesterton's writing career. I cannot say whether Belmonte conveyed Biblical truths successfully as his book is merely a parroting of things Chesterton had stated and written, but Chesterton appeared to have reveled in and revealed his religious and political philosophies through his writing. I feel like this book should be considered a welcome addition to the bookshelves of fellow writers as well as to the bookshelves of devout Christians. I think it would be particularly usefu l for spiritual leaders and persons studying the effects of theology on literature or the effects of literature on theology. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I received a copy of THE QUOTABLE CHESTERTON: THE WIT AND WISDOM OF G. K. CHESTERTON by Kevin Belmonte from Thomas Nelson. I was really excited to see this book offered, because before I knew virtually nothing about G. K. Chesterton. On page IX, Kevin Belmonte says he hopes the book works as an introduction and anthology. It certainly does, for both. I now know many facts about G. K. Chesterton, such as when he lived and how he worked. It also works as an amazing anthology, for the book consists of an A-Z layout of his work. I really enjoyed reading this book and learning about a new historical figure. G. K. Chesterton lived a fascinating, intellectual career. It's a pity he is not still alive, for I am sure he would have made great conversation in today's media. I can imagine him as a talk show host. The anthology itself covered a range of different topics, such as Jane Austen on page 19. Since the variety is so open, it's easy to become lost in your own thoughts on the topic. Your thoughts flit from idea to idea. There's never a dull moment in this book. I hope to be able to use his quotes in conversations. After all, the book is the "Quotable Chesterton."