Whimsy: August 2016 Archives

"Are you the new recruit?" asked a heavy voice.

And in some strange way, though there was not the shadow of a shape in the gloom, Syme knew two things: first, that it came from a man of massive stature; and second, that the man had his back to him.

"Are you the new recruit?" said the invisible chief, who seemed to have heard all about it. "All right. You are engaged."

Syme, quite swept off his feet, made a feeble fight against this irrevocable phrase.

"I really have no experience," he began.

"No one has any experience," said the other, "of the Battle of Armageddon."

"But I am really unfit--"

"You are willing, that is enough," said the unknown.

"Well, really," said Syme, "I don't know any profession of which mere willingness is the final test."

"I do," said the other--"martyrs. I am condemning you to death. Good day."

Although this book makes few obvious references to Christianity, its message of people struggling to uphold truth in a world consumed by relativism made me see for the first time that Christianity -- far from being boring and conformist -- could be exciting and oppositional.

Earlier this year, BBC Radio 4 Extra rebroadcast G. K. Chesterton's classic 1908 novel, The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare. I captured the series of 13 half-hour episodes for later listening and just finished it. Radio 4 Extra, which mines the BBC archives for comedy, drama, and sci-fi, often runs dramatizations of classic novels, but this was different. Except for a few seconds of dramatic strings and mournful horns at the beginning and end of each episode, it was just actor Geoffrey Palmer reading the story, unabridged, without sound effects or the assistance of other actors -- nothing but Chesterton's words and Palmer's vocal inflections -- and it was gripping. I hated for it to end.


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This page is a archive of entries in the Whimsy category from August 2016.

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