Story of a lost journalist

September 25, 2009

Charlie, a novel – by George Mikes

Filed under: Books — Cris @ 12:02

Charlie. I don’t know what got me to take this book. I didn’t know old George Mikes was a funny guy who wrote humour. If I did, I would have taken it without bothering to read the extracts in the back page or the language in the first page.

But on page 2 is this line: “It may sound strange but there was a time when I loved my father; and stranger still, there was a time when my father loved me. A pretty unnatural state of things as old Sigmund Freud might observe.”

That shook away all my would-this-be-a-waste-of-time concerns. It wouldn’t, my intelligence told me. My intelligence was right.

Only catch was it had a lot of politics in it, and I wasn’t expecting that. I should have read the extract carefully – it says this is his first political novel – Mikes’.
But it wont be much a of a trouble that you don’t know anything about politics. Cause you see, Charlie doesn’t either. So we get to learn together.

But all the while, no matter how much we go into politics – and politics cant be all that drab if it happened the Charlie way – there is a good lot of the rofl stuff that I badly yearn for in every novel.
So when the prime minister greets Charlie as “Good old Jack” the novel goes “Before Charlie could say anything (and of course he did not mean to embarrass the great man with such a triviality as the fact that his name wasn’t Jack)…”

But the best part was Charlie’s maiden speech at “The House”. After his disastrous start he goes on: “I love animals. We all love animals. All animals. But not the Minister of Agriculture.”
Charlie “quickly realizes” where the misunderstanding lay. He says “I mean the Minister of Agriculture does not seem to like animals and not that the Minister of Agriculture is the only animal I dislike.”

Sigh ok it looks like I have quoted more form the book than I have talked about it. But then it should say better than my words, how Charlie was written. It’s an entertainer 🙂

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