John Mortimer: Charade

When I last visited Lorem Ipsum Books, they had a deal wherein for every x dollars one spent, one got to pick a book from the “free books” box. I told myself that I would only let myself take free books if I actually read them. Here, teacher, is my attempt to prove that I did so … and not just the Precipice Notes, neither.

I picked up John Mortimer’s Charade thanks to a case of mistaken identity: I confused Mortimer (for reasons I can’t satisfactorily explain) with Michael Innes (also a British novelist with a capital “M” in his name, I suppose). I didn’t much care for Charade. It didn’t seem to know whether it wanted to be gentle satire, a comic romp, or a serious coming-of-age novel. I’ve often find this sort of confusion charming, but Charade didn’t muster sufficient conviction in any one dimension. It struck me, though, that Charade, published in 1947, could well have been an influence on several things I liked much better, most notably Monty Python’s singular vision of the British Army, and the crazed film director Eli Cross, brought to such memorable life by Peter O’Toole in The Stunt Man.

After that rousing endorsement, I’m sure you’ll all be delighted to learn that Charade is currently in my Bookmooch inventory.

Needs More Demons? Couldn’t hurt.

Published by therealsummervillain

likes: equality, making things easier to use, biking, jangle, distortion, monogamy dislikes: bigotry, policies that jeopardize people, lack of transparency

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