Item description for Mr. Blue (Loyola Classics) by Myles Connolly & John B. Breslin...
Overview A contemporary St. Francis figure, the mysterious and magnetic J. Blue spends his inheritance immediately and proceeds to live in a packing box on a New York City rooftop. Reissue.
J. Blue is a young man who decides to take Christianity seriously, not as a chore but as a challenge. He spends his inherited wealth almost as soon as he gets it. He lives in a packing box on a New York City rooftop. He embraces the poor as his best friends and wisest companions, distrusts the promises of technology (except for the movies), and is fascinated by anything involving the wide expanse of God's universe. He is the ultimate free spirit, it seems; but what is the source--and purpose--of his freedom? This novel about a contemporary St. Francis figure has delighted and inspired countless readers since it was first published in 1928.
Citations And Professional Reviews Mr. Blue (Loyola Classics) by Myles Connolly & John B. Breslin has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 03/01/2005 page 126
Christian Retailing - 02/21/2005 page 33
Foreword - 03/01/2005 page 1
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Studio: Loyola Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.04" Width: 5.22" Height: 0.45" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2005
Publisher Loyola Press
Series Loyola Classics
ISBN 0829421319 ISBN13 9780829421316
Availability 0 units.
More About Myles Connolly & John B. Breslin
Stephen Mirarchi is Assistant Professor of English at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has published numerous articles in academic journals, popular magazines, and newspapers.
At first Blue is really interesting. But there is no plot to the book, and so the narrative gets repetitive and a little boring.
Where's the Index when we need it? Sep 8, 2007
This book is dangerously charming and apparently innocent, although a bit weird on the surface. I remember reading it when I was about fourteen, after discovering it in my mom's library, and walking away wanting to love it but not quite sure why I couldn't comfortably fathom the whole thing. Twenty-five years later I found a copy and finally hoped to give it the reading it deserved, which I did, but finished it disappointed, dismayed, and even angry. A book and character idea with so much potential was stunted by impotent scenes and really just plain nonsense, some of which, now looking through more mature, seasoned and educated eyes, I found ridiculous, offensive, and even blasphemous, in a few cases. As a friend of mine stated (who read it young and then re-read it under similar circumstances as myself, but is twice my age), it is so polluted with the Americanist Heresy that it is surprising it slipped through even the American Bishops lenient censors when it was first published. It pretends to portray what the author (apparently) believes is authentic Catholicism, but is just another blend of American Protestantism. I had great hope in re-reading the book, and as a Catholic author, would have liked to take up the internal challenge offered by the narrator (on atleast two occasions) to write a sequel dealing with Mr. Blue's early life. However, as it stands, Mr. Blue isn't Catholic at all (I'll try not to pass judgement on the author), so resurrecting his character would be of no service to men of good will. This is truly one of the greatest Catholic literary disappointments I have ever experienced, as the theology of the book turns out to not be Catholic at all, but more in line with the Modernism that passes for the Catholic Faith in our day.
Oner Man's Poison Jul 3, 2007
I'm glad but puzzled at the raves over this dated book published in 1928. Apparantly one man's poison really is another man's meat, even when it smells and tastes like mothballs. Myles Connolly used Mr.Blue as a mouthpiece to get a lot off stuff off his chest. Just when I thought I'd go mad with all the preaching, Mr. Blue told an eerie and compelling tale about the end of the world and I felt a glimmer of hope. But then in a trice he went back to mouthing Connolly's views on religion, society, relationships, and I gave up on page 111.
Enjoyable little book Jun 2, 2007
"Mr. Blue" by Myles Connolly is about a modern-day St. Francis character, J. Blue. The book is told from the viewpoint of an ambivalent acquaintance of Blue, and is pretty straightforward. The narrator meats Blue through a landowning business associate, and finds him living on top of a skyscraper. Blue has a fondness for big bands, kites, helping the poor, and has a great love of life. He attributes his love of life to his Catholic faith. At one point, Blue declares that he finds it so comforting that with the huge universe, God became man. In addition, Blue believes that cinema, with moving pictures and sounds, has the power to change minds and the world. The narrator, while obviously respecting Blue, is not sure if he wants to join Blue in his self-professed poverty. He wants to go among the working poor and convert them to Christianity, making them "Spies of God" who will evangelize. Unfortunately, his plan takes a tragic turn after he is hospitalized.
"Mr. Blue" is a fast, enjoyable read. I didn't find it to be particularly deep or masterful, but it is definitely a good read, and a must-read for fans of religious fiction, St. Francis, and G.K. Chesterton.
Too Much Peace, Not Enough Sword Dec 16, 2006
At first this book touched me deeply and got me hoping, but it became quickly clear that the author, with his mediocre storytelling ability, narrow Catholic perspective, and lack of emotional penetration, couldn't handle the intensity of his main character. Although I was pulled in by the wild Mr. Blue, whose positivity, courage, simplicity, and rejection of all things conventional are quite above the average, he failed to develop as a character and instead grew dissociated and saccharine - like Jesus with all of the peace and none of the sword.
Our world doesn't need another self-sacrificing martyr who has no deep point of view beyond finding joyous pleasure in starving himself to death amid the world's most broken souls. Anyone who thinks that's what Jesus is about is missing the depth of his spiritual message. My personal opinion is that the real Jesus would label Mr. Blue mentally ill.
But that said, I still commend Myles Connelly for at least attempting to share his deeper point of view. Few people nowadays are willing to step out of the herd enough to take that risk.