Hilariously funny stuff, with wonderfully descriptive writing, from the pen of William FrederickAvailable on Amazon here!
And at Goodreads here!
Scanning much of this novel (and there's a lot in it, well worth its price), I can say that it's brought a smile to my face on every second or third page. The two central characters Bertram and Gertrude are reconciled and reunited in middle age after years apart. The result - alongside a plot involving a Chinese troublemaker and the Dutch secret service - is lewd filth of the highest order! (That's a good thing.)
There are gags about infirmity, with Bertram frequently struggling for breath or requiring assistance (both chemical and physical for numerous reasons and in a variety of ways), doooobul untundras all over the place, and a very vivid prose style.
There is some wonderful characterisation too. Intelligent stuff beneath all the buffoonery.
Bertram seems such a reluctant, cowardly and unreliable hero that he earns the reader's sympathy through sheer force of requiring it. Not an easy task for the author, but his narrative style is impressive in that respect.
Bertram's a decent guy whose attempts at casual slyness are so obvious that he doesn't seem a likely candidate for espionage of any kind. Yet he would bury the misanthrope in anyone. For example, when being sent into a potentially lethal situation he is concerned about his costs. His good nature doesn't permit him to consider the peril involved, or the fact that he's being manipulated (of which he seems aware but feels it's unimportant). Yet he's endearingly selfish and canny enough to appreciate that he wants his and his friends' expenses covered.
The book is a rollicker! Lots of spliffing up, and food, and sexual shenanigans, and it's very Bacchanalian and debaucherous. Not three bad at all for a debut novel, or even a tenth novel. (But it's the writer's first.)
Follow the author William Frederick here!