LibriVox recording of The Ball and the Cross, by G. K.
Chesterton. Read by Matthew Heckel and Tricia G.
The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus. When MacIan challenges Turnbull to a duel to the death, Turnbull is overjoyed. For twenty years no one had paid the slightest attention to his Bible bashing. Now at last someone is taking him seriously! Most of the rest of the story is a series of comic events in which the two enemies wander about seeking a spot for their duel." MacIan and Turnbull become friends as they protect each other from interference from the modern world, which has trivialized their views over life's most important question (the existence of God) and outlawed their honorable duel. The irony is heightened when they both fall in love with ladies who happen to hold to their opponent's deepest convictions. Professor Lucifer and a Bulgarian monk also play important roles in this perennially relevant story. (Summary by Matthew Heckel)
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Artist/Composer: G. K. Chesterton
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Keywords: librivox; audiobook; fiction; fantasy; religion; atheism; theology; Catholicism; duel; insanity
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
1 01 - A Discussion Somewhat in the Air 40:16 2 02 - The Religion of the Stipendiary Magistrate 30:40 3 03 - Some Old Curiosities 26:21 4 04 - A Discussion at Dawn 28:26 5 05 - The Peacemaker 14:32 6 06 - The Other Philosopher 28:10 7 07 - The Village of Grassley-in-the-Hole 20:21 8 08 - An Interlude of Argument 15:33 9 09 - The Strange Lady 33:34 10 10 - The Swords Rejoined 38:14 11 11 - A Scandal in the Village 31:31 12 12 - The Desert Island 18:18