Karla's Reviews > Practice to Deceive

Practice to Deceive by Patricia Veryan
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Tom Servo: This doesn't really strike me as a ha-ha kind of funny.
Joel: It's more of a quiet kind of funny.
--MST3K, Episode #424: Manos, the Hands of Fate

If you ask me, this was a no kind of funny. I've never read Georgette Heyer, but according to some reviews of Patricia Veryan's books, she's apparently similar to Heyer. In which case, I'm in no rush to get to the couple Heyers that are in my TBR.

Even though the story takes place in the aftermath of Culloden Moor, you wouldn't know it. The hero might be a Jacobite rebel fugitive, but the story isn't about the period and prefers to focus on everything but. It was a dangerous and tense time, but you would never know it from what goes on in Veryan's book. The tone was annoyingly light throughout, and seemed more like a wallpaper Regency in Georgian clothing. About 1/3rd of the way through I started to get high from the wallpaper paste.

The villains, even when they torture the hero, are no more threatening than any given nemesis of The Three Stooges. Much emphasis is placed on propriety (the hero is forced to hide out in the heroine's mansion, the only available room being...hers!) and there are hijinks aplenty from the heroine's maid Daffy, who spends most of her time shrieking "Lawks!" and tossing her apron over her head whenever she's stressed, embarrassed, scared, or giddy. She's also got a bird called Jasper who throws his seed around in every scene he's in, including one where the hero inexplicably dresses up like a pirate the day after he's been shot in the shoulder and tortured to give the heroine a goofy scare. "WTF?" I hear you say, and you would be so right.

As for our pranky, inept spy-hero, Quentin Chandler, no wonder the Jacobites failed. He could screw up a wet dream. The plot went from misstep to bumble to crisis to royal fuckup all across England.

The heroine, Penelope Montgomery, is a plain Jane who has pined for Quentin for five years after meeting at some country estate and has turned away several suitors because they're not like Quentin. I guess it's been too soon since suffering through Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake for me to stomach a heroine with the same hardcore pathetic pining disease, but I will give Penelope an edge over Sarah Maclean's Calpurnia, who has pined for a decade after only an hour's acquaintance with the hero. At least Penelope got to know Quentin over the course of days or weeks lo those five years ago.

This puppy goes for a fortune on the out-of-print market, and it's not worth the price IMO, even if one might be a fan of the old school Regencies with all of their quirks, eccentricities, and "refined" humor.

Unbelievably lame and dull.
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Reading Progress

09/24/2011 page 6
2.0% "I know it's way too early to tell, BUT....

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"
09/24/2011 page 40
12.0% "The hero-torturing villain and his henchman saying "Tush!" "Humbug!" and "Blast and damn the chit!" kinda throws a damper on their ebilness. Or maybe it's just me...." 6 comments
09/24/2011 page 65
19.0% "Humor Exhibit A: The heroine's maid, Phyllis AKA "Daffy" calls the disease the "bucolic plague."

"
09/24/2011 page 77
22.0% "Humor Exhibit B: Heroine uses a ploy to keep a lecher at a distance...

In the second before he claimed her unwilling mouth, Penelope sneezed with all her might, her head coming into sharp but gratifying contact with his front teeth.

He swore and released her, stepping back to clap handkerchief to lips. "By Jupiter--" he began, furious, but muffled.

More in comment...

" 4 comments
09/25/2011 page 124
36.0% "I feel like I just read 100 pages of the H/h tiptoeing around the baddies to walk out through the front door."

Comments (showing 1-41 of 41) (41 new)

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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* This looks Soooo good. I swear...Im coming shopping with you :)


message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah When her uncle announces her betrothal to his crony, the odious Roland Otton, she is very upset.

I'd be 'very upset' by that too. Heh.


Karla Have y'all seen the used prices for this one? That's why I used library loan for this puppy.


message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Ouch! I see, you're lucky you found it the library. I couldn't spend that much on a book unless I absolutely had to have it. It is too bad that there are so many great books from the 70's and 80's which are so diffucult and expensive to come by.


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Good grief. And I thought the $20-some was bad for Salem's Daughter. o.O


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* What makes me sick is I bought these books back then for the cover price..$2.50-$3.25 tops..for $20.00 I could buy 10 books brand new, I kick myself for the ones I lent out to a friend and never saw them again,till they show up on the "used" market for triple the price..just dosent seem right :(


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah That's because it isn't right. Grr. Lack of supply is one thing, but anything above, say, $10 for a mass-market paperback is pure unfair.

Gah, Sandi -- that's too bad about losing some of your books. :(


Karla Loaning books to a friend sometimes doesn't go well. They have to reach a minimum level of book addiction to be on the same page with you regarding just how precious books are and the responsibility of temporary custodianship (aka borrowing). :P


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Loaning books to a friend sometimes doesn't go well. They have to reach a minimum level of book addiction to be on the same page with you regarding just how precious books are and the responsibilit..."

So true Karla..lesson learned from that..the one I grieve the most for is The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham and yes the original book *sob*


message 10: by Misfit (new)

Misfit He could screw up a wet dream.

Loooooooooooool! This sounds dire, and there are what 5-6 more of them in this series? I'll pass. Thanks for taking a hit for the team.


message 11: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla Yeah, this is a series I will NOT be reading. >:P


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Lawks! What a piece of shit! ;P

This book officially deserves a ringwraith shriek.


message 13: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla I had a hard time trying to figure out which episode that quote was from! I knew it was a Joel episode, and one that I'd seen plenty of times -- which narrowed it down some since I'm more of a Mike fangirl. ;-) I took a stab in the dark that it was Manos and was the scene where Torgo's arm gets burned and the Master laughs...and I was right! :D


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I'm also of the Mike fangirl breed. :D I like him b/c he's more up-front in the rude snarkiness.

I've always wanted to use this random Puma Man quote, but never found a proper outlet (for obvious reasons): "when you want...the flavor of bacon...in a dip!" Hehe.

Take that, members of Boston!


message 15: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla *embraces fellow Mike fangirl* Yup, I love him for the rude snarkiness too. ^__^ Joel really gave some of those movies way more credit than they're due. :P


message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah *nod* Joel also did way more of the 'touch the screen silhouette' stuff, which I've never been a huge fan of. I'd rather get down to rude snarking on the awfulness. >:)


message 17: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla Same here, though I did like it when Servo smooched someone on the screen if their lips were within easy reach. But then, I wanna kiss Servo myself and I envy Joel for doing it that one time.


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Oh you naughty robot-lovin' ho. :D


message 19: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla Can't help it. I love my hoverskirt-wearin' bubble gum machine 'bots.


message 20: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) Karla, loved your review and your comments about book lending to those who only have the same respect and reverence for books as you do. Couldn't agree more!

BTW, what is MST3K? I'm totally lost with the last several comments.


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Can't help it. I love my hoverskirt-wearin' bubble gum machine 'bots."

Well, seeing as how I've lusted for a shape-shifter fae henchman who's missing one cheek & has red bird feathers in his hair, I can hardly blame you. :P


message 22: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla Dawn (& Ron) wrote: "BTW, what is MST3K?"

Wiki's having some difficulty tonight, but here's the link for it. I'm a huge fan of the show. :)

Link


message 23: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) Thanks, I only saw the show a couple of times. I didn't realize they were still airing the show, since it hasn't been on for years. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what it was, glad that's cleared up.


message 24: by Karla (last edited Sep 27, 2011 03:33AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla MST3k doesn't still exist per se, but the members from it are doing things that are in the same vein because it's what they do best. I actually cried when the final episode was aired that August day in 1999. Sad times... :(


message 25: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) Are they doing live events or do you mean something like direct to DVD? I'm asking because this show, or something about it, came up in another thread recently.

Been meaning to ask how are things going up your way since Irene? Is there still a lot of repairs going on? I know just because your not in the news, does not mean that everything is back to normal.


message 26: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla 3 of the guys from the show are now doing Rifftrax, and they do live events and also release public domain things to DVD and sell mp3s of their riffs to the more recent stuff so you can sync and watch (the legal way) - or make your own DVDs (the preferred way LOL).

Things are still patchwork up here. I think most roads are passable now except for some that really got hammered (where thousands of feet of road went into the river). The road crews have been excellent and working overtime, and most drivers have adjusted their speeds and habits to the less-than-perfect conditions. But the asshole drivers are still assholes. :P


message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan Excellent review. Looks like one to steer clear from!


message 28: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Buckley I could not possibly say in any way that this was an excellent review. It is a ridiculous piece of mean-minded nonsense. It is a complete misreading of Veryan's book and seems to be serve as a venue for some quite filthy language that does not belong here.


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan Well, opinions differ, don't they?


message 30: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla Joyce wrote: "I could not possibly say in any way that this was an excellent review. It is a ridiculous piece of mean-minded nonsense. It is a complete misreading of Veryan's book and seems to be serve as a venu..."

Oh honey, you should see some of my other reviews.


message 31: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant Joyce wrote: "I could not possibly say in any way that this was an excellent review. It is a ridiculous piece of mean-minded nonsense. It is a complete misreading of Veryan's book and seems to be serve as a venu..."

Wow. Tell us what you really think, Joyce.

I liked your review, Karla. And your response to this comment was even better. Smooch!


message 32: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Susan wrote: "Well, opinions differ, don't they?"

Yes, they do. We can't all like the same book every time.


message 33: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla Thanks, Tammy. Sheesh, I don't go onto 5 star reviews and berate them that they obviously interrogated the text from the wrong perspective (that never gets old - sorry, Anne Rice) and that their composition skills are in the toilet.

Joyce must have thought this was Amazon.


message 34: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) So I'll go out on a limb and guess that my frequent use of the words "douchebag," "goddamn," and "fuck" doesn't belong here either? Duly noted. >:D

And this is one of your nicer reviews, Karla. I think it's fabulous!


message 35: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant Rachel wrote: "So I'll go out on a limb and guess that my frequent use of the words "douchebag," "goddamn," and "fuck" doesn't belong here either? Duly noted. >:D"

LOL!!!

What?!? No eff word, dickwad or douchebag? Guess my career is over, I can't seem to write more than a paragraph without profanity.


message 36: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla I'd have had to break out the smelling salts for our visitor had I actually finished the thing. When I don't like a book and read it to the very end, the resulting review is never pretty. :P


message 37: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) Tammy wrote: "Rachel wrote: "So I'll go out on a limb and guess that my frequent use of the words "douchebag," "goddamn," and "fuck" doesn't belong here either? Duly noted. >:D"

LOL!!!

What?!? No eff wo..."


Nope. Karla's esteemed visitor deems that kind of language inappropriate. We'll have to live off of "gosh" and "darn" from now on. It'll be tough, but I don't want my reviews to come off as "mean-minded." Bwahaha! ;)


message 38: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "When I don't like a book and read it to the very end, the resulting review is never pretty. :P"

Hallelujah!


message 39: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on with this review from last year. Now I know and understand why there's been so many comments today.

What I don't get is this - "It is a complete misreading of Veryan's book"
How is it possible to misread a book?


message 40: by Karla (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla I forgot to get the memo on how to read it correctly. Should have come with a Troubleshooting Guide, though that would probably ask me if it was right-side up, plugged in, etc. Those things are so helpful.


message 41: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) Karla, that part really got to me, the rest is her opinion but "complete misreading" means you don't know how to read or there is only one way in which to read this book. Maybe I misread that sentence, I don't know.

Totally off-subject question. Do you own a Roku box? We are thinking about getting one and I'm trying to find the GR friend who said they have one.


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