Monday, May 12, 2014

Jeeves & Wooster With A James Bond Twist

Don't Point that Thing at MeDon't Point that Thing at Me by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not only was Kyril Bonfiglioli a fan of PG Wodehouse, he flat out references Wodehouse through out Don't Point That Thing At Me. It's a level of sycophancy that I wasn't 100% comfortable with. But I guess if you're going to ape a writer's style, why not go full monty and let it all hang out? I mean, Bonfiglioli's writing style is sooo similar to Wodehouse's that it wasn't going to take the British public long to sniff it out, so hell, drop in a mention of Jeeves and Wooster into the text right off the bat and get it over with.

That said, Bonfiglioli does not quite have Wodehouse's wit and his characters are not quite as charmingly lovable as Wodehouse's. The first part is a tough one for anyone, save the odd Oscar Wildes and Mark Twains of the world. The second part is unavoidable considering Bonfiglioli is writing about characters involved in grand theft and murder. He's taken Wodehouse's stock plot - Wooster being forced into petty crime - and gone big and mean with it. Consequently it becomes hard to love or even side with his main characters. They do wrong and when wrong is done to them the best I could muster was an, "oh well mate, you had it coming" kind of sympathy. However, like James Bond - who kills a chap or two before he's even had his kippers - there is a certain amount of acceptance for all the wrong doing. This is entertainment. This is comedy. Since these aren't real people getting bumped off we can remain lighthearted and aloof, and so the characters we're supposed to be rooting for aren't completely tarnished.

Humor, man, it's so violent!

Rating: 3.5 stars

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