The Wisdom of Father Brown


Read by Martin Clifton

(4.6 stars; 217 reviews)

This is the second of five books of short stories about G. K. Chesterton’s fictional detective, first published in 1914. Father Brown is a short, nondescript Catholic Priest with shapeless clothes and a large umbrella who has an uncanny insight into human evil. His methods, unlike those of his near contemporary Sherlock Holmes, although based on observation of details often unnoticed by others, tended to be intuitive rather than deductive. Although clearly devout, he always emphasizes rationality: despite his religiousness and his belief in God and miracles, he manages to see the perfectly ordinary, natural explanation of the problem. He is a devout, educated and "civilized" clergyman, who is totally familiar with contemporary and secular thought and behavior. His character was thought to be based on Father John O'Connor (1870 - 1952), a parish priest in Bradford, Yorkshire. (Summary by Martin)

(7 hr 17 min)

Chapters

Chapter 01 33:54 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 02 41:13 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 03 35:38 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 04 39:57 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 05 36:15 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 06 37:38 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 07 32:37 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 08 45:05 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 09 34:48 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 10 31:42 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 11 36:41 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 12 31:48 Read by Martin Clifton

Reviews

well read, but curious stories

(3 stars)

The narrator has a wonderful tone and I praise his style and the sound quality of these stories. Chesterton is justifiably famous for his writing style as his descriptions are very evocative and beautiful. however the content of the stories have two problems for me, one minor one major. the minor is the "product of his time" imperialist and racist attitudes which periodically just made me shudder. But the major problem for me is that some of the resolutions to the mysteries were just utterly nonsensical. I was often just annoyed and frustrated at the end of the stories. The last story in this collection was so devoid of logic, motive and detecting that I am not sure if it really is a "detective" piece for all its astoundingly lush imagery; but perhaps that the point? The stories here are a triumph of style over substance. I am richer for having encountered this reader who has gracefully given his time to this work and look forward to hearing him read other works that I find more completely satisfying.

Wonderful reading

(5 stars)

Martin Clifton delivers a perfect reading of G.K. Chesterton’s “The Wisdom of Father Brown”. Listeners will no doubt find that not all the stories in this collection are of the highest quality and that some degree of supernatural is always part of the author’s writing. A very good recording, thank you Mr Clifton!

(3 stars)

2018 - this required a lot of patience to listen. Readers voice is so deep and low that I had such a hard time adjusting the volume and treble. Finally, I just gave up. The stories were not as clever as in "the innocent...." but it was witty.

second listen

(5 stars)

Father Brown is one of my favorite characters. I enjoy listening to the stories and watching the series on BBC. Chesterton is unique in his insights and his plots reflect it. The reader is excellent.

The Wisdom of Father Brown

(3 stars)

Entertaining and well written detective stories, but Chesterton doesn't give enough clues to the reader to allow a reader/listener to figure out the case on his or her own.

(4 stars)

very competently read, and nice to hear a British accent. Reading is occasionally slightly wooden and sometimes could use longer pauses between interlocutors or concepts, but great work, thanks Martin!

The Wisdom of Father Brown

(5 stars)

Well read. Fun mystery/detective stories from a time past from a clergyman's POV- good short entertaining well dialogued stories. Much enjoyed, thanks!

(4 stars)

reader is fantastic, and the writing, of course, but some of the social attitudes which were common in Chestertons day are jarring to the modern ear.