The Ball and the Cross cover

The Ball and the Cross

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

1. 01 - A Discussion Somewhat in the Air
2. 02 - The Religion of the Stipendiary Magistrate
3. 03 - Some Old Curiosities
4. 04 - A Discussion at Dawn
5. 05 - The Peacemaker
6. 06 - The Other Philosopher
7. 07 - The Village of Grassley-in-the-Hole
8. 08 - An Interlude of Argument
9. 09 - The Strange Lady
10. 10 - The Swords Rejoined
11. 11 - A Scandal in the Village
12. 12 - The Desert Island
13. 13 - The Garden of Peace
14. 14 - A Museum of Souls
15. 15 - The Dream of MacIan
16. 16 - The Dream of Turnbull
17. 17 - The Idiot
18. 18 - A Riddle of Faces
19. 19 - The Last Parley
20. 20 - Dies Irae

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Genres

Summary

The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus. When MacIan challenges Turnbull to a duel to the death, Turnbull is overjoyed. For twenty years no one had paid the slightest attention to his Bible bashing. Now at last someone is taking him seriously! Most of the rest of the story is a series of comic events in which the two enemies wander about seeking a spot for their duel." MacIan and Turnbull become friends as they protect each other from interference from the modern world, which has trivialized their views over life's most important question (the existence of God) and outlawed their honorable duel. The irony is heightened when they both fall in love with ladies who happen to hold to their opponent's deepest convictions. Professor Lucifer and a Bulgarian monk also play important roles in this perennially relevant story.

Reviews

Daniel

- Almost awesome

The reader of the first section is excellent. But then the lady takes over. The lady who ends every sentence as if she is striking a C, then a G, then an E, on a piano. Her delivery is so sing-song and artificial that I am forced to discard any piece of listening literature onto which she forces herself. I could not finish this one.

Professor Lucifer.

- The book

A Wonderful Book!

Andy Wogan

Disappointing as the story started well with a particularly good reader who did variations of the Scottish accent very well While the American lady, I'm sure did her best, a little research into English pronunciation would have made the accent bearable and I was unable to listen after chapter 10