Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Mountebank by William J. Locke

The Mountebank by William J. Locke3.5 Stars

Andrew Lackaday was born under circus tents. As he grew up (to a 6'4" skinny redhead) he perfected his trade in mimicry, sleight of hand, gymnastics and mountbankery (is that a word? :)

Then the war came. And the world changed. What people thought funny before the war was no longer amusing. How can it be? And besides, how can Lackaday go back to playing the fool in second rate music halls when weeks before he wore the stripes of a Brigadier General? The whole situation is ludicrous.

Then there's love. Lackaday holds the heart of a divine lady in the palm of his hand but unbeknownst to her, there's another woman, a coarse but kind circus performer who has stuck by him from the very beginning...

This was good. Quite a character study and not as improbable as it might look at first glance. The situations felt true and realistic. But Beloved Vagabond was better. This story needed a bit more humor in it. It was fairly dark. I wanted more lightheartedness. And if not lightheartedness I wanted more grit. Lackaday never talked about the war and I wanted to hear/ see a bit more how he was affected by it. But aside from the war putting the dampers on his livelihood he seems to have escaped unscathed. Was that even possible?

Still, a good read. I have a hardcopy (with nice d/j) but I tended to pick up my ereader for most of this reading because of the many French phrases I wanted to translate.

PROFANITY: Mild, some D's. 

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