Tfitoby's Reviews > Don't Point That Thing At Me

Don't Point That Thing At Me by Kyril Bonfiglioli
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: funny, lit, black-as-night
Read from March 14 to 15, 2012

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 thief such as Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman or Arsene Lupin but Charlie Mortdecai is so much dirtier, grubbier and offensive than that and I applaud him for it. Between his over-educated self-satisfied air and his brutal and loyal manservant Jock the plot takes a back seat to their absurdly silly adventures across the British countryside and a trip to America whilst dealing with blackmailers, attempted murder, art thieves and smugglers not to mention renegade cops with anti-Mortdecai vendettas.

Each chapter opens with a late wakeup call, a greasy breakfast and a bottle of whiskey and filling the pages with witty one-liners, hillarious descriptive passages and offensive yet perfectly funny observations of people. If you're not crying with laughter whilst reading this then you're doing it wrong.

The plot taking the back seat is really what prevents this delightful work from receiving 5 stars, the ending starts to drag (as I found previously with After You with the Pistol) as Bonfiglioli tries desperately to tie everything together in to an acceptable conclusion.
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Reading Progress

03/14/2012 page 69
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Leah (new)

Leah You laughed more reading this than you have at anything for a long time. I kept wanting to know what was so funny!
Do you think the plot could have been balanced with the humour/atmosphere?

Tfitoby i think an actual planned ending might've been a good idea. there was enough plot in the rest of the book to make it work it's just the last two chapters felt like a rushed mess and so slowed the book and the enjoyment down.

message 3: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent I've read all three Mortdecai books. Something Nasty in the Woodshed is a little rough going but I liked the other two a lot. He reminds me of Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy with some P.G. Wodehouse thrown in more than Lupin or Raffles.

Tfitoby Somehow I read these out of sequence meaning I haven't read Woodshed yet but I have it and I will get to it soon I'm sure. Although sounds like I saved the worst for last.

I've never read any Lovejoy but I remember a TV series in the early 90s with the guy from Deadwood as Lovejoy - is this the same thing?

Wodehouse is both an obvious reference that I deliberately avoided but also most importantly I've not read any yet!

message 5: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent The Lovejoy with Ian McShane is the same Lovejoy.

I read all three in an omnibus and wish I would have passed on Something Nasty in the Woodshed.

message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark I have no idea what "genre" this book is, but I absolutely loved it. I put Bonfiglioli on the same shelf as things like the Flashman novels, Fischer's utterly brilliant THE THOUGHT GANG, and Dahl's wonderful "Uncle Oswald" stories. They all make me giddy. But, yes, the first of the Bonfigliolis is the best, in spite of the unsatisfying ending.

Tfitoby You're the second person to recommend My Uncle Oswald to me this year, i really must get on to reading that.

message 8: by Mark (new)

Mark It's really really good. There's also a fantastic stand-alone Uncle Oswald story, probably my favorite one, in one of the Dahl collections. Maybe SWITCH BITCH? Dahl is a god.

message 9: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent Okay, I'm definitely giving My Uncle Oswald a shot. How could I not?

message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark Post reviews, gentlemen. Post reviews.

message 11: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent Will do, Mark. Will do.

Tfitoby naturally. it is my raison detre

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