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Don't Point That Thing at Me: Charlie Mortdecai Series, Book 1 (Charlie Mortdecai #1)

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,199 Ratings  ·  353 Reviews

A cult classic in the United Kingdom since its first publication there in the 1970s, Don’t Point That Thing at Me is the first of a series of hilarious and dark-humored crime thrillers featuring the Honorable Charlie Mortdecai, degenerate aristocrat, amoral art dealer, seasoned epicurean, unwilling assassin, and acknowledged coward.

With his thuggish manservant, the incomp

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MP3 Book, 6 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1972)
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Dana Kashubeck I think the book is worth a read, but it IS NOT the same as the movie at all. The book does not have the same bumbling Mortdecai or squeaky-clean…moreI think the book is worth a read, but it IS NOT the same as the movie at all. The book does not have the same bumbling Mortdecai or squeaky-clean Martland -- they are very different characters in the book.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jul 11, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardboiled
”Destroying the painting was out of the question: my soul is all stained and shagged with sin like a cigarette smoker’s moustache but I am quite incapable of destroying works of art. Steal them, yes, cheerfully, it is a mark of respect and love, but destroy them, never. Why even the Woosters had a code, as we are told on the highest authority.”

 photo mortdecai-johnny-depp_zpstznovfqc.jpg
Johnny Depp plays Mortdecai in the 2015 movie. I’ve not seen it, but most of the reviewers are torching it. Regardless, I will eventually watch it.”

Charl
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Jason Koivu
Oct 04, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Jeeves & Wooster with a James Bond twist.

Not only was Kyril Bonfiglioli a fan of PG Wodehouse, he flat out references Wodehouse through out Don't Point That Thing At Me. It's a level of sycophancy that I wasn't 100% comfortable with. But I guess if you're going to ape a writer's style, why not go full monty and let it all hang out? I mean, Bonfiglioli's writing style is sooo similar to Wodehouse's that it wasn't going to take the British public long to sniff it out, so hell, drop in
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Sam Quixote
Jul 14, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a story told by Paul Whitehouse’s character Rowley Birkin QC - “Blahblahblahblahhorsesblahblahmuttermutterpaintjobrhubarbrhubarbblahblahofcourse… Iwasvery… very… drunk!” - except vastly more coherent so you can understand every word but so scattered that it may as well be muttered gibberish. That’s essentially what reading Don’t Point That Thing At Me is like.

Charles Mortdecai is an aristocratic art dealer who’s fallen in with a bad crowd. The police are after him for an alleged art thef
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Lance Charnes
Dec 29, 2014 Lance Charnes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who wonder what Lynley would be like as a self-involved drunk
Shelves: fiction-crime
Most authors make their stories work through plot, or characters, or sometimes both. Some make them work through sheer attitude. Sometimes this latter approach works fabulously (see Don Winslow, Chuck Palahniuk, and Josh Bazell), but it's easy to fall off this particular tightrope. For example: Don't Point That Thing At Me, author Bonfiglioli's first outing with his series character Charlie Mortdecai.

Mortdecai is a fringe member of the minor British nobility in the early 1970s. He's a sometime s
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Tfitoby
Jun 22, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night, funny, lit
I feel like there has to have been some kind of giant conspiracy for these great books to have been near forgotten after such a short period of time. The way Bonfiglioli writes doesn't really date itself, it's not only worthy literature but deliberately and delightfully farcical and a daring look at the seedy underbelly of a part of society that seems rarely acknowledged in British literature, that of the monied, educated classes.

I could probably draw parallels with another rogueish gentleman t
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Emily
Jul 17, 2014 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted SO BADLY to like this book -- the descriptions of it being a mix of Wodehouse and Fleming make it sound tailor made for me -- and I did think the writing itself was amusing and intelligent.

But amusing and intelligent writing deployed in service of an unpleasant and often incoherent plot is just wasted. By the close of the novel, I had only the slimmest idea of what had happened -- and the infuriating notion that I'd have to read the remaining books in the series to be anything like sur
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Adam
Nov 29, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-comedy
There are about three categories of books I really love: ones where a fully realized world is offered to me by the book, ones where the power of the telling is powerful I am bowled over, and the third category is ones where I’m plunked down into the head of a lunatic and forced to endure a world fully through their viewpoint. This book belongs strongly to the latter, in the tradition of Nabokov, Celine Beckett, and John Hawkes, and is a relentless black comic farce. A kind of Wodehouse goes noir ...more
Andrew
Aug 01, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are times when I could slap myself (as compared to those times when others would sooner slap me?)

NO I have just finished this book after seeing the cover at a local thrift store and thinking that looks fun lets give it a go even though for some reason it sounds familiar. Well of course now I have finished it and researched the author (as I do) I realise that it was made in to a film called Mortdecai with Johnny Depp. How I over looked that one I do not know!

Anyway the book - I must admit
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Arun Divakar
A portly art dealer, chronic alcoholic, epicurean, sexist and someone with a fine sense of humor- meet Charlie Mortdecai. Sounds like a fun person doesn’t he ? Kind of a warm, fuzzy and yet eccentric old uncle in the family is the first image to spring into your mind but Mr.C is nobody’s uncle. He is the most uncouth rapscallion you will ever get to meet and needless to say, you won’t forget him so easily. The first in the series is a fantastic joy ride into the life and times of Charlie and his ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 08, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Don't Point that Thing at Me reads like nothing else. The closest approximation isn't in print: It's the televised Blackadder series, which has a similar misanthropic anti-hero who can't get a break. The hilarious misadventures of amoral, cowardly, selfish but brilliant Charles Mortdecai (get it? death and decay right in the name) is the antidote to any overly saccharine British cozy.

I've just finished Kyril Bonfiglioli's dark debut novel, and I can't wait to read the sequel, After You with the
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Gabriela Stoeva
Mar 10, 2015 Gabriela Stoeva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Какъв би бил съвременният прочит на „Портретът на Дориан Грей” по мордекайски? Художникът Базил липсва, лорд Хенри е умножен, а Дориан е вече позастарял. Хедонизмът пък е основно в бутилката уиски... Бутилките. Картина, разбира се, има, разбира се, скрита е и е катастрофална, а борбата за нея напомня на ретро сериала „Ало, ало”.
Героите в „Мордекай” са съвременни, вече леко възрастни дендита, техните главорези и в краен случай - жени. Суетата, лицемерието и нечистите сделки вървят ръка за ръка, к
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Rhys
Jul 10, 2008 Rhys rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of offbeat crime
A very funny crime novel that is utterly different from most examples of the crime genre. It's an absurdist caper that reminds me a little of *The Chinese Agent* and *The Russian Intelligence*, Michael Moorcock's own forays into the same territory. There are also heavy debts to Firbank and Wodehouse in terms of sheer elegance. But the aura (stench?) of pure thuggishness in Bonfiglioli's writing overwhelms all the ultra-civilised props and effects.

The plot is a bit confusing (and I wonder if it's
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Tempo de Ler
A presunção e pomposidade ofensiva deste cretino, C. Mortdecai, é hilariante. Observações corrosivas e descrições exageradas são enriquecidas com imensas referências literárias e culturais num livro cujo «único» problema é mesmo o enredo.

Pareceu-me que, ao partir de personagens e situações são comicamente disparatadas, o autor se colocou no enorme sarilho de tentar terminar o livro com alguma lucidez e credibilidade.

Com a aproximação do final, tanto personagem e linha de argumento se perdem e n
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Roberta
Nov 13, 2015 Roberta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regno-unito
Boring. So-o-o boring.
The excellent choice of words doesn't make up for such a messy plot.
Next book, please
Jonathan
Feb 27, 2015 Jonathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
It's a quirky and charming little book but I couldn't find the time or dilligence to read it thoroughly. I'll give it another shot in the future and see if I can bring myself to finish it this next time...
Martin Malík
Jul 30, 2015 Martin Malík rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kniha ktorú jedenkrát čítať nestačí. Príbeh obyčajný, ale jazyk a humor je skvelý. Zábavná a ideálna kniha na cestu vlakom. Plž na hlohu sa usmieva od ucha k uchu.
Lu
Nov 11, 2015 Lu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Mortdecai si è presentato come un eccentrico uomo d'arte, truffatore raffinato, colto, brillante, padrone di uno squisito british humor. Il suo amico fidato, Jock, una sorta di rude suo angelo protettore, gli fa spesso da contraltare.
Le prime briciole di questa sua avventura d'esordio parevano promettere un'avventura zeppa di ironia e assurdità, ma di quelle buone che al lettore fa piacere leggere. E soprattutto nelle quali anela gongolante ad immedesimarsi.
Ma, ahimè, stando al mio per
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Alex
Mar 22, 2015 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What starts off as a vaguely interesting plot involving a stolen painting quickly devolves into a boring disjointed narrative where it's difficult to follow any character's motives.

Also, there's nothing redeeming about the main character. There's nothing wrong with having an anti-hero lead, or even a villain, but first-person narrative requires the reader to care at least a little bit about who is telling the story. Charlie Mortdecai is so unlikeable, and his 'I'm rich and drinking all the time'
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Diabolika
Dopo un inizio promettente, con un personaggio eccentrico ed una narrazione al limite del non-senso, ho perso velocemente interesse – così tanto che, mentre leggevo, pensavo ad altro.

La trama è inutilmente ingarbugliata, complicata e difficile da seguire. Le situazioni raccontate sono improponibili. Sembra che l’autore si impegni al massimo con “effetti speciali” per tenere viva l’attenzione del lettore. Ma invano!

Come dice l’autore stesso: “The English, as Raymond Chandler has pointed out, may
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julie
Aug 03, 2014 julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was lured into buying this book during a 5 minute dash into London's Daunt books. What lured me in was the recommendation by Stephen Fry on the cover. I will admit to feeling a little a bit cheated, as it's a very odd book indeed and I am very glad that I didn't buy any more of the series on impulse. I read it, but the main character is abhorrent, the plot labyrinthine and impenetrable (and possibly in the end superfluous) and tho' it looks like he dies in the end, apparently he doesn't, as th ...more
Billy O'Callaghan
It seems that Kyril Bonfiglioli, English-born and of Italian and Slovenian descent, drew on his leading character, Charlie Mortdecai, from the muddle of his own alcoholic and trauma-laden life. The son of a drunken Baron and made motherless by the Blitz, his world was a blur of booze, debt, tragedy and failed marriages, with time for a little bit of writing on the side. His half-hearted introductory insistence he that “This is not an autobiographical novel: it is about some other portly, dissolu ...more
Ilaria
Jul 06, 2015 Ilaria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mortdecai è solo il primo volume di una serie dedicata allo strambo e particolare mercante d'arte Charlie Mortdecai.
Charlie vive una vita al limite della legalità e spesso oltre, principalmente procura a clienti facoltosi opere d'arte famose e di valore immenso.
Durante una di queste sue missioni alla ricerca di un prezioso dipinto di Goya, il suo cliente muore lasciando Mortdecai alla mercé dei poliziotti e della polizia segreta.
Aiutato solo dall'inseparabile maggiordomo Jock, che più che un mag
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Tosh
Apr 11, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's if PG Wodehouse wrote a thriller. Kyril Bonfiglioli was an extremely talented writer and this book I didn't want to end. Why couldn't it go for another two or three hundred pages. I love the character, and it sort of reminds me of the Alex James memoir. Very charming, lots of drinking, takes life not seriously at all - just what I like in my literature and in my life. Fantastic book to have by your side at all times.
Becky
Jun 08, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 vari ...more
Danny Daley
Excellent characters, this is a refreshing aversion from the standard detective crime story. Mortdecai is not a hero, not a villain, not even an anti-hero. He's simply a charismatic crook who has a small but ever present conscience and gets thrown into circumstances that require that he expose wrong doing. His thoughts are fun and informative and his relationship with Jock is just as fun.

However, the novel isn't actually very good. It often lacks coherence and is not descriptive enough at points
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Jim Loter
Like many, I was only made aware of Bonfiglioli's "Mortdecai" series after seeing the bizarre trailer for the movie adaptation starring Johnny Depp. Though I had no interest in watching a grotesquely mustachioed Depp gallivant around for two hours, I was intrigued enough by the premise of the book series and its being described as a cross between Ian Fleming and P. G. Wodehouse.

Given how singular and brilliant Wodehouse is, it's a risky move for an author to seek out a comparison. And Bonfigliol
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Tereza M
Feb 22, 2015 Tereza M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best, zabavne
Potkat knihu nacpanou až po okraj přesně takovým typem humoru, jako člověk hledá, trvá občas roky. Mně se to konečně podařilo díky zfilmování Bonfiglioliho knih, které tyto knihy přivedlo na výsluní a já se tak o nich mohla dozvědět.
Začla jsem Mortdecaiovým záhadným případem s knírem a hned jsem musela pokračovat předchozími díly "série" o Ctihodném Charliem Mortdecaiovi.
Tenhle anglický humor je přesně pro mě! Skvělé repliky a vtípky mě dostávaly od první stránky až téměř do konce. Ten konec b
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Gaetano
Nov 06, 2015 Gaetano rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mortdecai di Kyril Bonfiglioli è il primo di una breve serie di racconti con protagonista Charlie Mortdecai, figura ambigua di dubbia moralità, intrigato in traffico d’arte ed altre tresche. Il suo umorismo, così come tutto lo svolgimento della storia non mi hanno preso neanche un po’. La trama è confusa ed i personaggi sono più che altro delle caricature, per me, malriuscite. Le figure femminili sono stereotipi di bassa lega e, anche i momenti più sensuali, sfociano quasi nel ridicolo.

Di positi
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Amy
Apr 10, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boozy-reviews


Page 54: "I pushed my breakfast moodily round the plate for a while then told Jock to give it to the deserving poor and bring me in its stead a large glass of gin with both sorts of vermouth in it and some fizzy lemonade. A quick actor, that drink, gets you to where you live in no time."

If that doesn't make you want to read the book, then nothing else I might say would have any effect, so I won't bother.

Here's the drink. I haven't tried it for breakfast, but it's awfully fine in the late afterno
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Adrianna
May 27, 2015 Adrianna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
This is a strange novel. I was really eager to get my hands on it when I found it on a booklist of movies to come out this year. Being touted as a dark version of a P.G. Wodehouse novel, I was sure I'd love it! Alas... It was very amusing -in parts- but largely incoherent and boring. A lot of pseudo-witty discourse wasted on the mundane. It was a chore to keep picking it up and reading it. I was bored, but I kept pushing forward because of the rewarding funny bits, but in the end, there just wer ...more
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Goodreads Italia: GdL Novembre 2015: Mortdecai di Kyril Bonfiglioli - Commenti e discussione 94 106 Dec 27, 2015 03:26AM  
Johnny Depp as Mortdecai?? 3 23 Jul 28, 2015 03:02PM  
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Kyril Bonfiglioli was variously an art dealer, editor, and writer.

He wrote four books featuring Charlie Mortdecai, three of which were published in his lifetime, and one posthumously as completed by the satirist Craig Brown. Charlie Mortdecai is the fictional art dealer anti-hero of the series. His character resembles, among other things, an amoral Bertie Wooster with occasional psychopathic tende
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More about Kyril Bonfiglioli...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Mortdecai (6 books)
  • Something Nasty in the Woodshed
  • After You with the Pistol
  • The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery
  • The Mortdecai Trilogy
  • The Mortdecai ABC: A Bonfiglioli Reader

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“There’s nothing like gunfire to drive the glamour from words.” 4 likes
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