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August 28, 2011

The Old Limey

H.W. Crocker III - ISBN - 9780895261625

This historically praised comic novel comes highly recommended by, amongst many others, Christopher Buckley, whose comment was "Until I read The Old Limey, I had no idea that sex, drugs, booze and elderly British generals could be such fun."

It is a daft work in which British humor meets wacky American flair. Set in California, a retired British general arrives to rescue his goddaughter from uncertain harm, thought to have been kidnapped by a Mexican drug gang in order to secure a quarter-of-a-million British pounds previously stolen from a Caribbean drug gang operating in England. Just after he totals his rental car, he meets and teams up with her friends: a pair of typical valley girls, half-gainfully self-employed in an image consulting business, who speak in a vernacular he can hardly understand (ya know . . . like . . . and he goes . . . then she goes . . . etc.) one of whom is promptly kidnapped. Nigel (the general) promptly sets out with the other half of the pair to rescue the captive, which task he engineers by disarming his well armed foes with nothing but a taser gun, and leaves with both girls and a handful of captured weapons.

And that's only the beginning. Along the way, after being struck on the head, he fantasizes about converting Islam in order to justify the acquisition four wives (he's a lifelong bachelor), only to decide against it because Fergie (the former Duchess of York) is destined to be one of them. He has other equally wacky fantasies to embellish the story line, many dealing with various postings around the globe during his military career. And there's much adversity along with many challenging adventures.

After several more run-ins with the Los Angeles, San Diego and Mexican police, the FBI, the border patrol, several drug gangs and the wacked out (former Green Beret) father of one of the girls, he succeeds in accomplishing his original mission, as all ends happily, and wholly, unpredictably nutty.

It is, indeed, a fun read. I have to admit, however, that several of Buckley's books are better: Florence of Arabia, and Thank You for Smoking, as is Christopher Moore's Lamb.

Still, it's worth the price of admission if you're in the mood for diversion and a spate of laughs.

Posted by Curmudgeon at August 28, 2011 12:40 PM