A far more civilized, beautiful life now lies within the grasp of your trembling fingertips
Gentle reader: do you tire of the meager offerings set forth by our humdrum age? Do you seek to cultivate blooms of refinement and joy in your life's garden? Lord Whimsy, as befitting his office as "Affected Provincial", humbly offers himself as a guide to those who wish to transcend the banalities of modern existence. A diverse and hilarious collection of treatises, insightful essays, philosophical diagrams, saucy poetry and other amusing trifles, The Affected Provincial's Companion will inspire you to transform yourself into a living work of art, thus setting you upon a course towards that misty, faraway shore known to the ancients as Enchantment.
The perils of sportswear, self-defense for sissies, the proper grooming of facial hair, and how to become a bon vivant—all this and much more may be found between the shimmering covers of this sleek and utterly beguiling volume.
The book started out very humorously, but trying to breeze through it was a mistake. Too much talk of the proper way to fold a pocket square can be overwhelming to the unaffected provincial. Even I can tire of learning the proper bird-catching techniques and about the continuum between being a dandy and other similar forms of humanity. All in all, I'd suggest this as a book to read a few pages at a time, not as a quick weekend read.
It may surprise you to learn that Tom Robbins sent me this book several years ago. It is a darling book, and beautifully designed...the cover a shade of green that makes me me think of vintage wallpaper perhaps containing lead...papering a drawing room where elegant toxic cocktails are sipped. I seem to recall him writing about green, in fact,, and all manner of whimsical dandy things, including a beautiful meditation on the Luna Moth....but leaving out Patrick McDonald.
The Affected Provincial's Companion, Vol. 1 Well what can I say about this one without giving too much away? It's a little gem that most people will probably overlook, and others won't have the opportunity to pick up, although they may greatly want to. As stated by other reviewers, don't attempt to read this all in one sitting. An essay a day is the more realistic approach, although even then there comes a point where you'll need a break and something different to get your mind off of it. It's a wonderfully satirical piece that still has some honest and rather serious undertones to it, something that you won't find often. It's difficult to describe just what exactly is inside so if you come across this book do give it a chance. It's really a one-of-a-kind product of a unique man's imagination and wonderful personality.
I would have given this 3.5 stars if I could, but it's not quite a four. Still, this is a lighthearted, fun and (I think) tongue-in-cheek manual for becoming a modern-day dandy. I loved the first section about the more practical aspects (pocket squares, facial hair, etc.) but the second section bogged down as Whimsy seemed to overreach in trying to construct a theoretical framework for dandyism. That said, thanks to this book, I think I might just be retrosexual.
An amusing and, yes, whimsical, little book. One can't help but admire a man that rides a highwheeled bike around the New Jersey countryside.
"A Bounteous Selection of Essays, Philosophical Diagrams, Poetry, and Other Such Arcadian Follies Concerning the Art of Curious Living and the Reintroduction of Ancient Charm into This Vale of Mud and Tears Known Heretofore as the Modern Life" --NYT
As unreadable as it is quotable, this book is composed of one to two page short essays that are like literary truffles: delightful if eaten individually, but eating several in one sitting induces nausea.