Favorite Father Brown Stories
G. K. Chesterton
Oh, the insufferable Father Brown! Better the exuberant arrogance of Holmes and Poirot than the cringing, blinking, mock humility of this clerical Uriah Heep, the little village priest with a “face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling.” Since Chesterton doesn’t give the reader sufficient clues to play along, Father Brown comes to seem an agent of God, his over-ballyhooed powers of “reason” a mystical ability to share in the divine mind. There is something almost insulting in the attitude of these stories, a nasty bit of ear-pulling meant to show us not only that we shouldn’t look down on the dumpling Brown, but that we should in fact look up to him – while he remains justifiably indifferent to what any of us might think of him or his God-like powers. Pure humbug.