Monday, January 21, 2008

Bonfliglioli's Wit - Redux

I just got my hands on another volume by Kyril Bonfiglioli, whom I quoted at length a while back. Nobody beats this guy for sly wit. Here’s an example.

After being violently chased from the scene of a romantic assignation, Karli – the peerless rogue and star of Bonfiglioli’s 1978 All The Tea In China– meets up with the object of his second assignation of the night:

“Karli,” she murmured as we drew apart after our first frantic embrace, “why does your heart thump so?”

“For love of you,” I lied valiantly. “It always thumps so when you are near, dearest one.”

“I am so happy that you feel so,” she said, still murmuring, “because I have such a wonderful piece of new for us.” My heart missed a thump. I cocked an ear for the baying of [pursuing] hounds but there was only the rustle of magnolia leaves, and two hearts beating as one, though for different reasons.

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Martin said...

That guy sounds fantastic. I've never heard of him. I read my first Wodehouse last April, in a very fitting place, Buenos Aires (not fitting at all). The book took the title Aunts Aren't Gentlemen, and I realized after the fact that he had written in around 1972, so it wasn't exactly vintage Wodehouse. (I enjoyed it.)

I'm going to me some Bonfiglioli.

Benjamin Chambers said...

He's a blast, all right - in the case of the book I read first, the plot was paper-thin and geared entirely to displaying B's wit, but I loved it anyway. Not unlike Wodehouse, actually, in that respect. I do recommend vintage Wodehouse - the '70s weren't his best decade.