Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking Humor In the Spirit It's Intended

He just never stops, so I can't either... Alexander McCall Smith has published yet another book.  This one, the third Corduroy mansions, has only been published in England so far (as is typical of that series and 44 Scotland St), but I was able to obtain a copy, thanks of course to my dear cousin Sarah Sp.  For the curious, here's my review of the second one, also published from Chapman Lake (oh yes, I'm here in CL for Memorial Day :)) I have to say, it was almost funny to reading the review from last year.  First of all, I think my blogging style has definitely changed, though I guess not hugely tangibly.  The interesting thing was that I spent that whole complaining how the ridiculousness of it all was driving me crazy until I realized the whole thing was a joke.

The funny thing about that is that, with this book, I also noticed the ridiculous characterization and improbable plot twists immediately... but this time, I was immediately aware that they were meant in a wholly humorous bent, with not one corner of the eye on their believability index (interesting turn of phrase, though I don't think entirely successful :))... can I say thanks to my post of last year for that cognizance of tone? Why not? :)  I mean, first and foremost, there's the gentleman in canine form, Freddy de la Hay.  There's the complete and utter antipathy of Berthea Snark, psychoanalyst, towards her own son, a more vile human being than most.  There's the tale of Hugh, kidnapped by Columbians to salsa dance on their cruise ship... yeah, you get the point.  But it's all funny.  Lightly told, highly engaging, and ever so humorous.  And not only that, I have definitely started to care about at least one - well actually two - characters, FdlH and his owner William.  Everyone else I can pretty much take or leave, but mostly they're worth taking.

I felt like this book ended less abruptly than some of the others, Sarah Sp. thinks he may not have written it as a serial, which would explain it.  It definitely had some unfinished storylines, but it wasn't like, what? you can't just leave it like that, for the most part.  And a huge plus, I really didn't notice any political, or moral, or philosophic statements I disagreed with getting in the way.  Another product of not writing a serial? Or did AMS just get tired of it all already? Or maybe I just wasn't watching for it... either way, nothing arose to cloud my enjoyment of this delightfully charming romp through England.

Verdict: 3.75/5

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