I’m very proud to announce Thursday 2.0, my labor of love update of G.K. Chesterton’s masterpiece The Man Who Was Thursday, has been released! It can be found at Amazon.com in both paperback and in electronic format for the Kindle. (Non Kindle-owners can download a free app to read Kindle material on all sorts of tablets and computers.)
Thursday 2.0 takes place in the near-future, where man and machine have converged and every sense is filtered through and shaped by The Cloud. In such a world where the physical and the virtual are one, reality is never what it seems. But for Gabriel Syme, reality becomes ever more deadly the deeper he infiltrates a mysterious cyber terrorist group called the Council of Days. In a chase across Europe, Syme and some unlikely allies race to thwart the assassination of two world leaders, only to uncover an even deeper and more dangerous mystery: Who is Sunday?
I first discovered Chesterton a few years ago while searching for quotes to include in my other writing. It seemed no matter what subject there could be found a witty and insightful nugget of wisdom attributed to GKC. After coming across several of these, I finally decided to find out who this Chesterton was and why I had never heard of him.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, I learned, was born in Kennsington, London, England on May 29th, 1874. He was married to Frances Blogg for 35 years before dying at the age of 62 on June 14th, 1936. Despite writing around 80 books, 200 short stories, hundreds of poems, and several plays, Chesterton considered himself more of a journalist, having authored around 4000 essays. Chesterton’s work of “uncommon sense” as a literary critic, historian, playwright, theologian, debater, and mystery writer was so influential it was said at his funeral, “All of this generation has grown up under Chesterton’s influence so completely that we do not even know when we are thinking Chesterton.”
GKC is best known for his Father Brown Mysteries, but it seemed from online chatter the place to start was with his novel The Man Who Was Thursday. I quickly found a copy and was instantly hooked. I burned through the pages and by the end felt changed. I felt like I had dug up a treasure that now was part of me. This was exactly the type of book I love to read and hope to write: immensely entertaining and ringing with universal truth.
TMWWT is not without its drawbacks. Having first been published in 1908, many of its cultural references and verbiage have lost their meaning with today’s readers. With a bit of research that can be overcome, yet concepts such as honor-to-the-death seem laughable in today’s world of cheap promises. I rarely reread books, but each time I came back to TMWWT, I became more and more convinced today’s world needs this book. But how can those drawbacks be overcome?
After talking to some Chesterton fans and conferring with an author who had adapted some of the Father Brown tales for children, I decided to take on the arduous task of adapting TMWWT for the 21st Century. The setting, technology, characters, and motivations have all been reverently overhauled to modernize the story and make it accessible to today’s generation. This might be a bit controversial to some, but to me it was like placing an exquisite diamond in a new piece of jewelry, one that would better allow the gem to sparkle and shine as it had not in some time.
And so I give you Thusday 2.0. My hope with this project is that once again it can be said of G.K. Chesterton that our generation has been so influenced by him that we don’t even realize when we’re thinking Chesterton.