Alex Sarll's Reviews > South Wind

South Wind by Norman Douglas
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Sep 07, 12

Read from August 23 to September 07, 2012

A wonderful tale of life among the disreptutable expats on the Mediterranean island of Nepenthe (commonly believed to represent Capri, but possibly the ideal of which Capri is a reflection). There is a plot, of sorts, but the attraction is more in "a frolicsome perversity", in spending a few days on the beaches and taverns with these drunks and monomaniacs, hearing their grand schemes and thoughts on life, spying on the minutiae of their many sins - obliquely though they are often described. Many of the best jokes in it are never even stated, merely implied, and all the funnier for that. I was reminded of a slightly less arch Firbank, and given Firbank can be a bit much even for my decadent tastes, that's no bad thing. Written in 1917, there's no hint of war here; instead it's a holiday in that indefinite summer afternoon where Wodehouse and Miyazaki's European tales also bask.
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Reading Progress

08/28/2012 page 80

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