Book Review: The Napoleon of Notting Hill

30 Mar
The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G. K. Chesterton

“That which is large enough for the rich to covet…. is large enough for the poor to defend.”

Genre: comedy-drama; futuristic; alternate reality

Plot Summary: A king of England is selected from alphabetical order to rule as he sees fit.  It just so happens that the man chosen, Auberon Quin, lives for one thing in life: humor.  But when he orders road developers to tear up the little “insignificant” district of Notting Hill, the locals who are led by one fiery young man do not see the joke.  No one could have predicted what ensues.

My Review: I wanted to read this book because I had heard so much of G. K. Chesterton, and wanted to read something other than his Father Brown mysteries.  However, I found it a bit hard to read through.  This wasn’t just a simple story like I’d been expecting.  It was full of symbolism and deeper intent, but I usually had the impression I was missing the point.  It would be much better to read it with a companion guide, to get more of the author’s meaning

There were things I could appreciate and glean from it, though.  The main theme: How much is your home worth to you?  How far would you go to defend it and everything that is good and dear and lovely about it?  I could resonate with this, after having lived in an area where there were those who were quick to build windmills in the very places that meant the most historically and aesthetically to us.

I was glad I read this book after all, as it was one to make the brain work and think.  But it wasn’t what I would call pleasure-reading.  Those interested in Chesterton, or those looking for a brain-stretcher will appreciate it most.

You can listen to a free downloadable audio book version of the book here.

Michael Collins 1921.jpgTrivia: What do “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” and “Downton Abbey” have in common?  Chesterton published his book in 1904, and several years later it inspired one Irishman, Michael Collins, to lead the fight for Irish independence in the early 1920’s—the same political upheaval in which Downton’s Tom Branson was involved in.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Book Reviews


Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: