More Fun Than a Teethcleaning

Review of Two Gentlemen Sharing by William Corlett.

If you’re stuck in a cabin in the woods and a bear ate all your good books, you could turn to this piece of gossamer fluff in order to while away the idle hours. But be sure to weigh it down with a rock when you’re not holding in your hands or it’ll float away.

This is farce-and-nonsense; it’s Benny Hill-meets AbFab-meets-an-East End drag show. All of which is flawless if you’re into in, depressing if you’re not (as they say in Boys in the Band). It’s mostly just silly. I admit it: sometimes we’re in the mood for silly. Just don’t go looking for anything here that you’ll remember the morning after (and, for god’s sake, please don’t compare it to Wodehouse).

This is, instead, a compendium of broad stereotypes (and stereotyped broads), including tippling servants, sexually repressed ex-soldiers, Italians who can’t stop ****ing, and mad English “ladies” whose station has been reduced by a reversal of fortune. It’s about as original as the spit-take and as amusing as Le Pétomane. Characters fly in and out by the dozens and the dialogue often becomes a delirium of double-entendres (sometimes so forced they seem to be uttered at gunpoint). Indeed, when Corlett really gets going on the repartee, he forgets he has a plot to deal with. All in all, it’s more fun than a teethcleaning. But only just.

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Posted on 25 June 2007, in Book Reviews & Literaria. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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