Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Young Adult Novelist Inspired by Chesterton

James Kennedy interviewed by Chicagoist:
C: It’s very, Roald Dahlian? Dahl-esque?

JK: Oh, he is exactly what I want to be like.

C: It’s very James and the Giant Peach-ish. I take it his writing was--

JK: Love Dahl. Love everything about him.

C: One of the biggest inspirations in this book?

JK: He’s one of the inspirations but he’s not the biggest. Probably the biggest is—have you read anything by GK Chesterton?

C: No.

JK: He wrote a book in around 1905 called The Man Who Was Thursday. It’s about a group of anarchists in turn-of-the-century London, each of them named after a day of the week. They’re led by Sunday, who’s this larger-than-life, beyond-good-and-evil character. The hero, a policeman, infiltrates the group as Thursday, to get at Sunday. The Belgian Prankster and Sunday have a lot in common. Sunday seems to float above the narrative. His character reminded me of like, when you see Bill Murray in a movie, he sometimes seems like he’s detached from the movie he’s in, that he’s ironically distant from the story that his character is in. Anyway, the idea of Sunday fed into my idea of the Belgian Prankster, who’s ironically removed from the entire world. Of somebody who he wants to make the worst joke ever.


  1. +JMJ+

    Absolutely excellent! Thanks for the tip. =) I'll be looking for this one the next time I visit the bookstore.

  2. Yep, it's on my library list. Right after Coraline, which I haven't read yet.

  3. I've been unimpressed with Gaiman (after reading Neverwhere and Coraline). Hopefully Kennedy will have some substance.

  4. Joe, you might be better served reading Gaiman's "Sandman" graphic novels, "American Gods," and "The Graveyard Book."

    I liked Neverwhere and Coraline, but those three I mentioned are Gaiman at his best, IMHO. (And there's a Chesteron-esque character in Sandman.)

    So nice to find a place online for Chestertonians. My book, The Order of Odd-Fish, owes quite a bit to The Club of Queer Trades as well . . .

  5. James, thanks for stopping by! I just ordered your book, and am anxious to read it.

  6. Thanks, Nancy! I hope you enjoy it.

    I see from poking around your website that Chicago (where I live) has a longstanding Chesterton society. I need to drop in!

    However, not anytime soon -- for my wife just gave birth to our first child, Lucy Momo Kennedy! So I won't be stirring from the house for a while . . .

    Keep up the good work!


  7. James, Congratulations on the birth of Lucy, she's beautiful.


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