Monday, February 22, 2016

The Coloured Lands by G.K. Chesterton

I've been wanting to read this as soon as I read the title. Unfortunately, this isn't public domain, and the library didn't have it. But then Scribd did (yay for the two free months I got - if you want a two month trial, which would help me get an extra month, let me know), so I read it IMMEDIATELY.

Basically, The Coloured Lands is a posthumous work, consisting of essays, short stories, poems and drawings from his youth, if I'm right. But for some reason, I did not love it as much as I expected to - perhaps I expected too much.

Let me just clarify, there were definitely moments of beauty and genius in the book. I made quite a few highlights, such as:
"It was his home now. But it could not be his home till he had gone from it and returned to it. Now he was the Prodigal Son."
"For children are innocent and love justice; while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy."
not to mention
" 'I am the Wind', answered the Spirit. 'I fill the ears of men with a thousand voices, but never before have mortal eyes seen me. I go where I list and sing what song I please.' "
Basically, there were lots of quotable lines. Even the foreword, written by one of his friends, had quotable moments.

Yet there were times where I didn't quite connect with the book. It might be my utter inability to understand poems (I'm a Robert Frost/Wilfred Owen/Shel Silverstein kind of person, and the first two was found not through chance, but through school), but while some were beautiful, I didn't get a lot of them. I didn't get some of the stories either, and that sort of made me sad. I wanted to be continually moved and touched by this book, and when it didn't happen, it felt like a bit of a let down.

Is it a good book? Of course. There are lots of lovely moments. It just wasn't the life-impacting book that I expected. For me, those books are Orthodoxy and Tremendous Trifles.

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