Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Recent Reading: The Father Brown Reader

Nancy Brown's The Father Brown Reader is a delightful book. I'm not usually an advocate of condensed or abridged books, so why am I so enthusiastic about this? Because I think it's an excellent introduction to Chesterton for children, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, too.

I have to admit that I haven't read the original Fr. Brown mysteries, as I'm not much of a mystery buff (though the fact that Chesterton wrote them has always had me curious about them.)

But, my kids do enjoy mysteries, and this was no exception.

We read it together (we love our read-alouds) and the girls truly enjoyed the intrigue and the subtle humor. Even Ramona was paying attention and remarked on what a silly club those gentlemen had (you'll have to read the book to find out what I mean.)

And, there are lovely talking points about the faith, such as this remark from Fr. Brown (after revealing that he knew someone was not what he said he was) : "You attacked reason," said Fr. Brown. "It's bad theology." Now there's some fodder for conversation with the kids.

And (in case you're wondering) not one of the stories is a murder mystery, so they're appropriate for the younger set as well as for your older kids.


And congratulations, Nancy, on bringing Chesterton to a whole new audience!


Liz said...

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy the Father Brown DVDs which I got for Christmas. Of course most of those are in fact murder mysteries, although for the most part you don't get much of a look at the corpse. I've been enjoying Father Brown and the Church of Rome which is a collection of Chesterton's most Catholic Father Brown mysteries. It's a really good introduction to Chesterton's actual work for grownups who aren't necessarily into mystery stories. I, being a mystery buff, was first introduced to Chesterton in the Father Brown stories, but I didn't encounter the Catholic ones until after I became Catholic. One thing is quite clear, Chesterton's short stories are better than Agatha Christie's short stories and I think better than Dorothy L. Sayers short stories as well (and that's from a Christie/Sayers addict).

Beck said...

My kids love the Jim Weiss story tape versions of the Father Brown stories!

Len & Heather said...

My sixth grade son is a bit of a reluctant reader. He loved this book!!! Now that's an endorsement!!!
Heather - Doodle Acres

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much. I've been waiting and waiting for these to come out. I'm so glad to hear that you liked them!

Touchstone (^_~) said...

I love Father Brown!