The Ball and the Cross

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.4 stars; 57 reviews)

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) (8 hr 35 min)


01 - A Discussion Somewhat in the Air 40:16 Read by Matthew C. Heckel
02 - The Religion of the Stipendiary Magistrate 30:40 Read by Matthew C. Heckel
03 - Some Old Curiosities 26:22 Read by Matthew C. Heckel
04 - A Discussion at Dawn 28:26 Read by TriciaG
05 - The Peacemaker 14:33 Read by TriciaG
06 - The Other Philosopher 28:10 Read by TriciaG
07 - The Village of Grassley-in-the-Hole 20:21 Read by TriciaG
08 - An Interlude of Argument 15:33 Read by TriciaG
09 - The Strange Lady 33:34 Read by TriciaG
10 - The Swords Rejoined 38:14 Read by TriciaG
11 - A Scandal in the Village 31:31 Read by TriciaG
12 - The Desert Island 18:18 Read by TriciaG
13 - The Garden of Peace 18:47 Read by TriciaG
14 - A Museum of Souls 30:51 Read by TriciaG
15 - The Dream of MacIan 15:27 Read by TriciaG
16 - The Dream of Turnbull 23:51 Read by TriciaG
17 - The Idiot 32:10 Read by TriciaG
18 - A Riddle of Faces 26:56 Read by TriciaG
19 - The Last Parley 16:55 Read by TriciaG
20 - Dies Irae 24:56 Read by TriciaG


Intonation, intonation ....

(4 stars)

First of all I wanted to express my greatest appreciation to the volunteer readers. I listened to the first three chapters of the book, read by Matthew Heckel with great interest. But starting from the fourth chapter, Tricia G. continued. And that's whhen the experience changed. Tricia G. thinks that the intonation doesn't have anything to do with what is written/read. She puts a great stress on the last word of the sentence, regardless of the meaning. I see Tricia G. is very active reader on LibriVox and I greatly appreciate her effort. But please, PLEASE! Tricia G., pay attention to what is written and change your intonation accordingly. Added to your very clear, professional voice your reading will be a great pleasure to listen to. Thank you!

excellent, insightful book

(5 stars)

excellent, insightful book. tricia g is distractingly sing song ,however

(3.5 stars)

An excellent book and the first three chapters are excellently read! Unfortunately after that the reader changes... TraciaG has a very professional voice but she seems to struggle putting emphasis on any word except the last one in *every* sentence. This has a monotonous effect and makes the story (and especially dialouge) far more difficult to follow. I leave it at 3.5 stars for the moment for an above average performance overall with the hopes that the later chapters might see a second version submitted in the future...

Fascinating Story

(3.5 stars)

This story for me started off as a great adventure. It was quick, it was clear as it was the battle between atheism is in Christianity. Then it took a dark turn. Insanity. Where is the truth where is the reality? It is no longer clear or perhaps it was becoming more clear. This is a powerful story, and when I will soon not forget.

This story rulez

(5 stars)

A combination of CS Lewis meets Lewis Carrol. This story is magic, sureal and beautifully all at one. Of course magic and Lewis and Carrol, and surrealism and beauty are all raycyst. I guess that is why I like it so much. Both narrators are gr8

I was really enjoying the story...

(3 stars)

... but lost interest around chapter 4. I may go back and read it for myself later or maybe pick up the graphic novel.

Good book, inconsistent readers

(3.5 stars)

This book is one of my all-time favorites, however, TriciaG really hampers my experience. Would recommend for ages 11+

um, yeah

(5 stars)

This is da bomb. I laughed my head off and learned too.