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AFTER YOU WITH THE PISTOL - Kyril Bonfiglioli
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After You with the Pistol
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Cult classics in the UK since their first publication in the 1970s, Kyril Bonfiglioli's wickedly fun mysteries, featuring the Honorable Charlie Mortdecai - degenerate aristocrat, amoral art dealer, seasoned epicurean, unwilling assassin, and general knave-about-Piccadilly.
Charlie's back in After You with the Pistol, along with his new bride Joanna, and his thuggish manservant Jock. He's also still drinking too much whiskey - and anything else he can get his hands on - which makes it all the more difficult to figure out what the beautiful and fabulously wealthy Joanna is up to when she tries to convince Charlie to kill the Queen. Suffice it to say, Joanna is not quite what she seems.
Joanna might not be quite what she seems, but Charlie most definitely is. In what has to be a homage to PG Wodehouse, Charlie and Jock are undoubtedly a latter day Wooster and Jeeves pairing, although possibly with more brandy and soda, a lot more guns and slightly less eyes than the original two.
There's nothing even vaguely subtle in the totally over the top stylings of AFTER YOU WITH THE PISTOL and neither there should be - the book is sheer silly enjoyment. Mind you, sprinkled through some of the silliest moments there were lovely little snippets of wisdom and advice - I'm particularly fond of "You must guard against hating people or even things: it is easy to become like what you hate. Victory at Entebbe destroys us more surely than defeat at Kursk."
Really - if you haven't read this series, and you're a fan of P.G. Wodehouse give them a go - you'll have to make allowances for them being written a lot later than the Wodehouse books so "sensibilities" have changed (basically there's a lot more sex in these books, and the language whilst what I'd regard as pretty low key - it's more than you'd find in a Wodehouse book), but for pure, silly, entertaining fun - it was definitely a great book for snuggling under a doona with.
Submitted 4 years 11 months ago by
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 2:01pm
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