Stef's Reviews > Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?

Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
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bookshelves: audiobook, britain, history, fiction, noir, crime

** spoiler alert ** Montmorency is a young adult novel written in 2003. The audiobook is narrated by Stephen Fry. The setting is London in the 1870s. If Eliza of Shaw's Pygmalion/My Fair Lady were a petty criminal and she decided on her own to enter high society and she did it without the tutoring of 'enry 'iggins but only by using her own observations, you would have a story somewhat like Montmorency. This sums up both what works about the novel and what doesn't work. I like watching Montmorency learn how to pass as a gentleman, but I also find it too implausible that he'd be able to do it without help in that setting.

There are a number of supporting characters. Most of them are shallow and stereotyped, especially the women. A few have some interesting nuances.

As Montmorency moves from the criminal class to the upper class, his ethics improve. There's a mixed message here: "people who have their needs met can afford to be more compassionate" but also "upper-class people are ethically superior to lower-class people."

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Reading Progress

January 11, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 13, 2011 – Shelved as: audiobook
January 13, 2011 – Shelved as: britain
January 13, 2011 – Shelved as: history
January 13, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction
January 13, 2011 – Shelved as: noir
January 13, 2011 – Shelved as: crime
January 13, 2011 – Finished Reading

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