Wednesday, October 8, 2014
All The Tea In China - Kyril Bonfiglioli
Now I've actually finished it I'll be passing this book onto my partner who I'm reasonably sure will love it, he enjoys the Flashman novels and from what I've read of George Macdonald Fraser they share the same spirit. Theoretically a book full of adventure, art, wine, food, and jokes should work for me and separately the bits about wine, food, art, and some of the jokes do work for me so I was happy enough whilst I was reading, but when the characters are for the most part a means of furthering a joke it's hard to care enough to pick the book up again if the humour isn't quite in tune with your own.
From what I know of art and wine Bonfiglioli knows his stuff, what he says about clippers in the opium trade sounds like he knows about that too. The boat stuff comes alive which is a testament to how good a writer he is, but to really enjoy this and not feel overly prudish about some of the more disreputable jokes I would need to be holed up somewhere warm on a cold winters day. So basically a curates egg of a book for me, to good to dislike but just not quite my cup of tea.