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Laugh! It's the British Raj (Book Review)
Laugh! It’s the British Raj − (Book review)
Wee Charlie’s World,
by Bryce McBryce
(Danpress adult fiction, 196pp, isbn 0959063048)
Review by Cathy Macleod
Long ago, when Britain ruled the world, its military families regularly confounded the War Office. And thereby lies a hilarious scenario, from which author Bryce McBryce has created the funniest fiction I’ve read since . . . well, since I can remember.
In one far fortress defending the Indian Ocean, the Commanding Officer declares a brat named Charlie to be a worse distraction than militant Japan. It’s the eve of WW2, the British Raj at its glorious peak.
The boy’s father is a lowly sergeant, his mum a long suffering army wife, and their blimpish Colonel ever seeks promotion to higher rank.
Wee Charlie, innocently battling Life’s monsters, has his own world where adults intrude in ways he can’t understand. On the troopship he ignites a “brat overboard” crisis, in the colony he pollutes the convent’s holy water, in the fort he’s haunted by Wellington’s ghost, as a Boy Scout, sworn to be helpful at all times, he helps an enemy spy. And so on. Such mirthful situations abound.
Charlie’s quest to understand the world provides chuckles, nostalgia and a bit of philosophy. As this kid puts it: “The hardest thing to learn is people.”
I particularly liked this book because there is purpose to the humour. When one isolates the human factors, as McBryce does, the world since then hasn’t really changed at all. This is a five-star delight. You’ll find extracts at www.amazon.co.uk and www.booktaste.com
Happy reading from firstname.lastname@example.org
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