A small masterpiece, both impressive and understated.
Mr. Asa Lee Pinion, the famous American journalist, knew what hypocrisy was; he had of necessity encountered it often in various shapes and forms. But what of hypocrisy’s polar opposite? What possible reason could there be for the concealing of virtue behind a veil of vice? Through four stories that are almost too amazing to be believed, the Club of Men Misunderstood will show him the reasons.
The morality is consistent with a Christian worldview, though on the surface it takes surprising twists and turns. Some might question the innate deception in some of the characters’ actions; wherever there is any deception, though, it is done with the right motives for a good purpose.
In only one of the stories is Christianity dwelt on at length; in it the main character describes his religious experience. As far as it goes it is Biblical.
A man is shot in the leg. Another man’s stabbing is referred to in backstory. None of it is graphic.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Wine is drunk.
Each of the stories features a romance, and each romance is tastefully done. In the prologue a playwright’s free-and-easy views on sex are discussed and elegantly ridiculed.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
An occasional “My God”, “damned” (used as an intensifier), and “golly”.
The idea behind this book is brilliant, and Chesterton’s sparkling style does it full justice. Throughout all the stories he weaves a common thread of sacrificial goodness and soaring joy; in “The Ecstatic Thief,” especially, his humor is at its best. I would place this on par with The Man Who Was Thursday for sheer force of imagination and interest.