At least one title has yet to be shipped from its extraneous Public Library branch (the CPL, if it works at all, works in mysterious ways), but three others arrived: The Man Who Was Thursday, The Essential Father Brown, and Chesterton on Shakespeare. (Also Garry Wills on GKC.)
As it happened, I got sick—a cold, but quite a monstrous one—and then I got involved in another project. Meanwhile books and books began to pile in from their various branches, to the point where I had at least fifteen piled high. Needless to say, overwhelmed, I shunted more than half back, and, as it turned out, inadvertently, the one I most had designs on, Chesterton on Shakespeare was included in the batch.
Now, the book is a compilation, not itself by his hand; but a nice consolidation (I figured) of his thoughts on a leading figure. Of course, I don't possess a book even briefly without at least flipping through it a little bit, and I think I found bits and pieces that were of interest. Now, alas, the sustained study which I had intended, cannot happen unless I reorder the book, which I am loathe to do for a writer that has failed to inspire me.
Thursday went back. In my glance-through, I found a couple of examples of "cheap effect" writing of a type that I find annoying (if not reprehensible), but I thought, do I really want to revisit this in greater depth, when the opus itself seemed less than compelling? "No," I chortled to myself aloud, and shipped the book back.
Also accidentally, the Essential was left behind. Were I a young man, and still in my dick phase, I might find the stories quite droll and fun; but, frankly, the last thing I want to do these days is look at detective fiction.
So I'm pissed off that the wrong title was sent back, and the wrong title left behind; but I shall have to live with that. Cicero meanwhile beckons, but I have not been able to muster the energy for it: easier to be lazy and do nothing, especially as the holidays approach. Half of Atticus is better than none, and I consider it time well spent; but I will be happier if I follow through to the end: momentous history is in the making.
As an aside, though—but in line with my topic—I had a chance to see Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap performed. As the longest-running play in history I felt it worth some attention. My reaction was about exactly what it was to her novel I read years ago (and which equalled that of Edmund Wilson, as I reported previously). It captivated my interest well enough while the action was occurring—the performance was well done—but at the conclusion I felt something of a terrific letdown: "I never want to do that again."
My understanding is she wrote numerous plays, and all were successful—in fact her success sounds similar to W. Somerset Maugham's as a dramatist: multiple productions running at once. Bully, bully, I guess. Just one more bit of the puzzle why, when it comes to popular taste, I find myself so frequently at the periphery. Possibly that explains my reaction to Father and Thursday. Not my cup of tea, eh wot?