Thursday 29 May 2014

Don't Point That Thing at Me - Kyril Bonfiglioli

The blurb on the front of this compares the book to a combination of PG Wodehouse and Ian Fleming, a comparison that I would say is quite fair; however I would like to throw Tom Sharpe into the mix, simply because the mapcap and cheeky storyline brings to mind some of the escapades of characters like Wilt. Certainly this crime caper about stolen Goyas and murderous policemen owes a lot to Wodehouse, a fact that is made clear my Charlie Mortdecai through his references to Bertie Wooster, and various of the Jeeves novels. I would happily agree that this book is as funny as Wodehouse, but with the added thrills (and tongue in cheek misogyny) of Fleming. The relationship between Charlie and his trusted manservant Jock Strapp seems to owe as much to Clouseau and Cato as it does to Jeeves and Wooster though.
I genuinely enjoyed reading this one, it made a long train journey fly by, and was amusing, disgusting and deeply unpleasant in a very British way all at the same time. Where else could you find a down at heel degenerate minor aristocrat stealing major artworks, drinking fine port with his manservant and getting one over on an incompetent and vindictive member of Special Branch?
I would certainly recommend this to anyone wanting a book full of biting wit, and a good dollop of adventure, and urge you to imagine Roger Moore as Charlie Mortdecai as you read...

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