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helenliz

helenliz

Aristocrat at Large

Aristocrat at Large - John C. Bird I received this book as a Goodreads first reads giveaway. An entertaining read. An unlikely tale of a Birmingham journalist who pretends to be an aristocrat (taking his name from the local boozer) and heads to California to write an autobiographical tale of his experiences. It has good guys and villains and beautiful heroes and unlikely fairy godmothers and all the usual array of pantomime characters (including a dog). It was set in the 1950s, but apart from the date at the beginning, I'm not sure that there is any single detail that would give me the hint that was the case. It launches right into the middle of the plot, with the main character being discovered on the verge of in flagrante delicto and escapes by jumping out the window and crawling through a hedge. Her husband is the villain of the piece and he heads off in hot pursuit. I found the way that the pretend aristocrat kept calling the villain to be, frankly, stupid. it might make for a more exciting chase for his novel, but that novel may well end up nasty, brutish & short. In fact I found the actions of the male lead with respect to the pursuit to be pretty incomprehensible throughout. The aristocratic act seemed an unnecessary complication and was flaky at best. it seemed to come and went with little logic behind it. And someone from Birmingham sounding at all upper class? Highly improbable. The most convincing character, for me, was Becky, the elderly widow who comes to the rescue and then heads off on what proves to be a rather bizarre road trip. She also has history with the villain of the piece, but manages to appear human, humorous and humane throughout. having said all of that, it trots along at a reasonable pace. It's no Hemmingway, but I've read worse. Strikes me as perfect airline book - good enough to keep the pages turning but light enough that you don't need to concentrate too hard.