The Quotable Chesterton

The following is a book review.  I’ll be doing these from time to time.  Some of the books come from BookSneeze.com; scroll to the bottom of this post for more information on that.

(c) 2001 by Kevin Belmonte

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 useful 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.

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2 thoughts on “The Quotable Chesterton

  1. I love Chesterton. His Eternal Man is a good read. One quibble, G. K. did not have talking points. The is a pejorative implying he didn’t have an original thought or that he was motivated by something other than to write the truth as simply and straightforwardly as possible. Good review otherwise.

  2. @Uncle “Buster Dog” :)I hadn’t meant to imply that; I was using this definition:talking point n.–Something, such as an especially persuasive point, that helps to support an argument or a discussion.But I suppose I could have chosen another noun phrase with a less ambiguous meaning.Thank you for your commentary; I wasn’t sure you were still reading here since I hadn’t had a comment from you in quite a while. I love getting feedback, even when it’s negative or counterpoint.

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