“The Adventures of Lord Bolingbroke” by Joshua Catchatoor

This review could be summed up economically by a single quote. The Preface contains one short sentence; “This is quite a silly book.”

And thus prepared, we dive into a novel best described as Monty Python with the silliness level set on steroids. Especially in the opening chapters, bodily functions figure largely in the action, and juvenile behaviour abounds. There is little emphasis placed on veracity, characterization, or heaven forbid, decorum. Rude language is the hallmark of the writing style.

The story takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I, an appropriately riotous society for the author’s purposes. The real Lord Bolingbroke was a rakish character in a later age. There was a Lord Northumberland around that time whose loyalty to the Protestant cause was suspect, but I see no other evidence of any attempt at historical accuracy. Characters are splotched in with a broad brush, stereotypes are skewered, and hilarity is the order of the day.

Leaving me in a bit of perplexity as to the intended target readers, since the maturity of the humour seems considerably lower than the education level required to understand the context. Perhaps well-educated British schoolboys.

Once the story gets rolling, the action picks up and the humour takes on less importance, and the tale gets more fun for adults. A reasonable plotline with a nice (though transparent) twist hides in the tomfoolery. Some of the humour appeals to more mature readers. But in the end, it’s mainly silly. Which, after all, is what it set out to be.

This is a fun light Farce to entertain younger teens and the young at heart.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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