The Napoleon Of Notting Hill

The Napoleon Of Notting Hill

by G. K. Chesterton

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789353369170
Publisher: Astral International Pvt. Ltd.
Publication date: 06/10/2019
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.32(d)

About the Author

G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) wrote approximately around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays. He is best known for The Man Who Was Thursday and his Father Brown stories.

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The Napoleon of Notting Hill 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I originally wanted to read this book because I had heard so much about G. K. Chesterton. I had read the Complete Father Brown mysteries many years ago, but now wanted to read something else by him and had to start somewhere. It sounds like I picked a good book of his to begin with, it supposedly being one of his best fiction books. However, I honestly was disappointed. Not because Chesterton was a bad writer and that this was a bad book, but because I am an average reader and had a hard time trying to understand what the writer was saying. Most times, I always had the feeling that I was missing the point altogether. It would probably have been better to read a companion guide to the book or something. I was able to find some inspiring quotes throughout the book, and towards the end, I found myself liking Adam Wayne immensely (I can identify with the character and his love for his hometown in the face of people wanting to come in and ruin the very things that are lovely about it). Good book? Probably. But an average reader (like myself) will have a hard time understanding it unless using a companion guide. I would recommend it to anybody who admires C. S. Lewis (since Lewis admired Chesterton) and those who love high art and literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lydia Nevin More than 1 year ago
Hilarious and sometimes thought-provoking. If you have the right sense of humor, it's lots of fun. Some parts get a little slow, but it's well worth it.
wdwilson3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This slim volume combines alternative history, satire, and fantasy. Written in 1904, it posits a future 100 years in the future in which there is no international strife. Everything is so stable that, essentially, nothing has changed ¿ everyone goes about their life with no thought of change, progress, or conflict. Government is largely irrelevant, until a new English king is chosen (at random), an eccentric who mandates that each London borough become a city-state, complete with walls, heraldry, and provosts. Ultimately, conflicts arise between the towns, and war ensues. Written before the horrors of World War One, Chesterton appears to idealize the conflicts and carnage. Or is he writing a cautionary tale? One is never sure, and the typically dense Victorian verbiage Chesterton employs mutes the message to modern readers. Occasionally amusing, often tedious, it¿s not a book I can recommend except to those who enjoy Victorian prose.
denmoir on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am ambivalent about Chesterton. He has great ideas and his stories begin with promise but somewhere along the line I lose interest. It is as though he promises insights and delivers the obvious.
clfisha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is his 1st Novel, written in 1904 and I heartily enjoyed it.Set in 1984 in a world where nothing has changed & apathy has set in. A man who believes everything to be a joke is chosen by lottery to become the next king. For his own amusement he turns London into fiefdoms but still nothing changes until one petty ruler takes the idea seriously. I found it humorous and charming but dramatic with the juxtaposition of whimsy and the violence of war. The different ideas are fascinating (the two extremes, political apathy etc...). Plus it¿s good for wondering what would happen in a fight in your city.
LeslitGS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Napoleon of Notting Hill is Chesterton's crack at a futuristic tale, even if he cheats. The 1984 London described in his story is much of the same London of the era of its writing in 1904. There are still horse-drawn hansom cabs and a few of the omnibuses make appearances. Men are wearing frock and nice hats. The main change is that the people have quieted down. England has most of the free world in its power, just having officially absorbed Nicaragua. The political structure is a sort of...I'm not sure. The Kings have their power, but they are not elected nor is the throne hereditary. It is described as a sort of 'jury duty' style selection, and when Auberon Quin is chosen, things go haywire. Quin is a man who fancies himself humourous, refusing (if it is indeed a conscious choice) to see anything in a serious light; the world, he believes, is a massive joke. Inasmuch he rules as he sees fit and upon taking a liking of the antics of a young, would-be soldier weilding a wooden sword one night, divides London into old fashioned kingdoms. There are provosts for ruling beneath him. Each has their own colour scheme, symbol and halberdier troupe. Things run as smoothly as can be for several years until some of the provosts, all randomly elected excusing Quin's friend Barker, come up against a brick wall in their efforts to build some road through several of the areas. Provost Wayne of Notting Hill stands against their efforts, choosing instead the love of his home. This book, as I expected, is an astounding look into a side of humanity that I cannot say I often seek to explore, though I am sure I think on it more than I note. Chesterton shows how, despite what any one person may think at the end of any one day, he or she will very likely end up becoming something that they do not desire or even blatantly dislike. In the world of this book, before Quin stirs things up, the population of London has become complacent. They feel no real attachment or loyalty to their homes, no real 'home-town pride,' and are, in fact, puzzled by the actions of the visiting Nicaraguan president. The man, in the midst of this dull atmosphere, seeks two things. He finds one in a piece of yellow paper he tears from a street sign and the other in his own blood drawn from his hand. They are the colors of his home and his love, even though it is no longer its own country. Such a love is found in the Notting Hill provost as he defends his home against the onslaught of businessmen and politicians. I cannot speak to much further as I do not wish to give up the ending of such a splendid novel, being a firm proponent of Reading Rainbow (but don't take my word for it) ethics. All I know is that, though there was a fabulous ending before the final chapter, Chesterton added his last chapter. It's a very philosophical conversation between two voices that is fascinating, but I am fairly sure that it went over my head. Still, fantabulous. I will leave you now with a quote from the novel itself (Forgive the lack of inclusive language, but Chesterton wasn't writing for the PC crowd, Politically Correct or Personal Computer...): 'For you and me, and for all brave men, my brother,' said Wayne, in his strange chant, 'there is good wine poured in the inn at the end of the world.'
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I stayed up much later than I should have to finish this unexpected little book. The plot was quite good, but more compelling than that was Chesterton's distinct style of writing and the little gems he scatters liberally on every page. The Napoleon of Notting Hill is Chesterton's first novel and was published in 1904. In this story, he imagines a London eighty years hence (yes, 1984) in which nothing much has really changed. Horse-drawn hansom cabs still cruise the streets and the government has degenerated into a despotic democracy. A man is chosen from a list (just as one is called for jury duty) to be King. It is not a hereditary title, and the function of this King is to be a sort of national secretary. This systems is described as a despotic democracy because it is an ordinary man just like any other who is chosen off the list, and so he in his one person embodies the spirit of the masses ¿ and yet he rules with an autocrat's power. Auberon Quin is one such young man, who is standing on his head in a public garden to mortify his friends when he receives word that he has been chosen as King. Auberon is a "dangerous man" because all he cares for are jokes. As King, he indulges a fancy of dividing London into respective sections and setting up a full medieval state, complete with flowing robes, contingents of halberdiers, and heraldic insignia for the Provosts of each small city. In the first flush of his joke, Auberon happens to meet a young boy in the vicinity of Pump Street, whom he laughingly admonishes to defend his Pump Street to the death. Ten years later, that young boy is ready to do just that. He is the Provost of Notting Hill, and he opposes a bill that would send a thoroughfare right through Pump Street, the heart of Notting Hill. At first Auberon cannot believe that Wayne is serious, but it soon becomes clear that Wayne is deadly serious. And bloody battle ensues.This book is full of poignant insights, and one of these that struck me was Chesterton's assertion that the smaller a country is, the prouder and more loyal its subjects will be. He says a young boy playing at kingdoms in the street will be all the prouder of his territory if it is so small it barely has room for his feet to stand. This didn't seem to make sense until I thought it through in terms of national identity. The smaller your national state, the more exclusive it is, the more special it makes you feel to belong to such an elite membership. In the end, this story is about the superiority of the small and localized over the large and cosmopolitan. And yet Chesterton is not bigoted; the grocer's store is described lovingly as a place where liquorice from the dark heart of Araby, tea from mystic China, and a whole host of other poetic items are brought to the heart of the local. One thing that my copy's introduction says is problematic for modern readers is Chesterton's alleged glorifcation of violence. As modern readers, we agree with the idea that "small is beautiful," but are not as comfortable with the portrayal of violence as essential to the survival of the small. Chesterton sees things in sharp polarity; the Small must always defend itself against the onrushing tide of the sprawling, monstrous, civilized, monotonous Large. There is another strong polarity in the book, between the Joker and the Fanatic. Auberon embodies the Joker, to whom nothing matters but the humor of things. Adam Wayne typifies the Fanatic, who has no sense of humor and whose loyalty never falters. Wayne takes everythings too seriously; Auberon is incapable of taking anything seriously. I love the end, where the two are finally one.It's hard to believe this is Chesterton's first novel. Of course he had been writing essays for some time, but the work has a very masterful feel. He knows exactly what he is doing, and follows his own rules. I'll leave this with a few choice quotes from the book. The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playin
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A strange little idea. A lament about the dullness our civilised lives bring on, and a proposition put forth as an alternative. I'm sure there is much the author was trying to say that I do not understand, and some things which I think I understand, he may not have had in mind at all. For instance, I perceive teaching on the value of life because it exists and it is all individual. If you snuff out a life, for instance in the womb, what have you lost? None of us know, because that individual never had a chance to be known. There is a wonderful little paragraph on freedom of speech, what it should mean and what it is not allowed to be for fear of labels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Several OCR errors on every page, not worth trying to read in this format
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recognized some of the humour but I just couldn't stay interested in this book. Written in turn of the century english with archaic slang and dialectical nuances it just doesn't have any flow to it. I'd much rather read a play in old english than this. And that's saying something.
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Nancy Greene More than 1 year ago
Still holds up
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