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Summary

Written by G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy addresses foremost one main problem: How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? Chesterton writes, "I wish to set forth my faith as particularly answering this double spiritual need, the need for that mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar which Christendom has rightly named romance."

Chesterton likens orthodox Christianity to a man who set out in a boat from England and was quite excited to land on an island only to soon discover he had, in fact, landed on England. "I am the man who with the utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before." This is Chesterton's autobiography. It is his story of finding the familiar and unfamiliar in Christianity. It is his hunt for the gorgon or griffin and in the end discovers a rhinoceros and then takes pleasure in the fact that a rhinoceros exists but looks as if it oughtn't.

In Orthodoxy, Chesterton argues that people in Western society need a life of "practical romance, the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure. We need so to view the world as to combine an idea of wonder and an idea of welcome." Drawing on such figures as Fra Angelico, George Bernard Shaw, and St. Paul to make his points, Chesterton argues that submission to ecclesiastical authority is the way to achieve a good and balanced life.

Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Whenever I feel my fiath going dry again, I wander to a shelf and pick up a book by G. K. Chesterton." (Philip Yancey)

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  • Sam French
  • 05-05-15

A True Gem

G.K. is undoubtedly an intellectual Titan. New and empty philosophies he squashes like flies. With extreme clarity, he bullies his way into your admiration with his sharp insights. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • David Lingner
  • 23-05-17

A masterpiece

What did you love best about Orthodoxy?

I listen to this book over and over. Perhaps my favorite book of all time. Chesterton is so enjoyable to listen to. I love his style. John Lee does a wonderful job in reading. I feel like I am listening to Chesterton himself.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Super Freddy
  • 03-02-17

The greatest book I have ever read

The Master of Paradox, Chesterton, changed my world with this book. He opened my eyes to something that was always before me. He made me hear what was too loud for me to hear before.

Comical, intelligent, and most of all, truthful. Chesterton makes you fall in love with Orthodoxy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • 14-07-18

Timeless clarity of thought.

I was surprised to find this book first published over 100 years ago, 1908 to be precise. Chesterton's wit and intellectual brilliance have allowed him to write a book that is as fresh and topical today as it no doubt was when it was written.
Part of the charm of Chesterton's writing is his apparent love and respect for his audience. At no time did I feel lectured at or even worse patronised. There was no hint of showing off his intellect (using 10 syllables when 2 or even 1 would suffice) nor dumbing down his argument for the poor unwashed masses. Instead his writing is clear, witty, inviting and engaging.
John Lee should also be recognised for his masterful delivery.
His performance in both tone and cadence perfectly suited this book, thus allowing all the dry wit and sarcasm to be delivered without sounding corny or even worse "bitchy".
However it was his ability to deliver the practical and philosophical arguments with an air of authority but without the hint of supremacy that really made for both an intellectually and audibly enjoyable experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Pete
  • 31-07-16

GK Chesterton Relevant Brilliance

I have read everything I can get my hands on from CS Lewis, but I think that GK Chesterton may be even more influential to me now. The insights in this book is exactly what people need to hear in today's culture. I find his insights brilliant and unique, also the source of much inspiration for those who came after. A must read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Handyman
  • 24-05-16

Does justice to a classic

Chesterton is timeless. The reading by John Lee was excellent in most parts, especially in the final chapters. But he was a bit sing-songy in the first few chapters which I found distracting. Nevertheless, this is well worth the listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AnnaH
  • 24-02-18

Loved it!

There always seems to be a twinkle in Chesterton's eye. I really felt that the narrator captured his voice - his narration enriched the narrative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • No to Statism
  • 15-09-18

Very Diligent Work

Mr. Chesterton was very fastidious and thoughtful in this book; he reflectively presents his Christian conversion. This is also true as he lays out his Christian beliefs as well. Overall, I found this audiobook to be very gratifying.

John Lee did an excellent job reading the text of this audiobook!

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  • Julian Peacock
  • 14-09-18

GK Chesterton has a wondrous writing style

GK Chesterton writes with such elegance as to convince you of seemingly ludicrous proposals. His writings's elegance is matched only by his pugnacity in decrying the assertions of the modern age.

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  • MARK CHILSON
  • 24-08-18

A great healer of divisions

The defining influence on CS Lewis.

A healer for divisions between the Left and Right in our pluralistic political landscape.