The Man Who Knew Too Much

Read by Martin Clifton

(4.4 stars; 510 reviews)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an influential and prolific English writer of the early 20th century. He was a journalist, a poet and a novelist. He wrote 80 books and 200 short stories in addition to his other work. He is perhaps best remembered for his ‘Father Brown’ stories; two collections of which are available at

‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ has some similarities to the Father Brown stories: Horne Fisher the eponymous hero is connected and indeed related to many of the high-ranking politicians of his age and thus ‘knows too much’ about the background of the mysteries in which he becomes embroiled and which he unravels. (Summary by Martin Clifton) (5 hr 49 min)


Chapter 1 – The face in the target 42:50 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 2 – The vanishing prince 42:37 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 3 – The soul of the schoolboy 31:03 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 4 – The bottomless well 36:26 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 5 – The fad of the fisherman 41:08 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 6 – The hole in the wall 53:41 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 7 – The temple of silence 55:23 Read by Martin Clifton
Chapter 8 – The vengeance of the statue 46:12 Read by Martin Clifton


Worth Your Time

(4 stars)

Reminded me of a more believable Sherlock Holmes. Also, very well read. Well worth a listen.

Enjoyable Stories

(5 stars)

I enjoyed all these stories. While most of them had to do with English politics of the time, my lack of knowledge of the same didn't hinder my enjoying the stories

Great reader, so-so stories.

(4 stars)

Martin Clifton does a superb job of trying to inject life into these stories, but they aren't that great, so listen for the writing style and reader's accent.

Wonderful listen

(5 stars)

An entertaining seemingly unrelated set of mysteries brought to life by an exceptional reader. Listening to Martin is a delight. Would love to hear more from him.

Cons and Pros

(4 stars)

Cons. The story lacked continuity and for a while kept me interested for only 2 reasons. Firstly, out of sheer marvel at where it could possibly be going and secondly, the excellence of the reader. Pros. The individual sub plots were very interesting and even had great potential to be developed more (maybe into a series instead of being crammed into just one book). I really felt immersed into his world. I would like to see this come to life in a Netflix series

much too dated

(2 stars)

I keep trying Chesterton but have always found him too dated. Also, I prefer my Christian Apologetics to be straight forward essays not thinly disguised mystery stories. In this case, I found his anti-semetism expressed so forcefully at the end of "The Bottomless Well" as to make me feel soiled in having listened to it. The reader is excellant and in no way responsible for Chesterton's writings and beliefs.

It is just not Raycyst enough

(4.5 stars)

I expect a crazy amount of anti-semitism from all old white writters. This guy just does not live up to my expectation of anti-semitism. Especially the story about the bottomless well. He needs to rewrite his stories with more anti-semitism. That way I can express my rightfull indignation at his raycysm. All good anti-raycysts need actual Raycysts to make our life complete


(3 stars)

Chesterton's fame as a great writer obviously was not based on this book. The decent ending is the only reason it got at least 3 stars. The characters never come to life, and it was difficult to find the story continuity. The reader did well, but he could not overcome the basic blandness of the work.