Saturday, July 18, 2020

Grumpy due to Lock down - Cheer up - Read the Laughter Riot called Scoundrels

I have been a regular member of NetGalley till Sept 2018. Later on my visits to their site reduced, I think one of those visits I applied for "Scoundrels 1 & 2". I got the approval for both the volumes. I think I checked the first volume and read a few pages. But somehow I forgot about those two books and found them during COVID Lockdown. I wanted some good books which can lighten the mood and stress level during these trying times. And Scoundrels gave me that peace of mind. I am grateful to NetGalley and authors for providing such a wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. And I would like to apologize for the delaying review. Still, books needed it's pending praise and here I am delivering duty which was due for almost a year and a half.

Scoundrels - Volume 1

Before we discuss the plot let me tell you my first impression of the book cover. I was going through NetGalley shelves when two funny covers came into the view. They reminded me of my favorite childhood tv show "Laurel and Hardy". The title was equally funny, "Scoundrels". I knew the books will be a fun riot. I applied to them immediately. I think they were the last books I applied within those 12 months. I am glad I have these books with me to enlighten my mood. As I applied books in combo and got approval for both, I am posting a combined review. 

Scoundrels Volume 2

"Scoundrels" & "Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp" are the first two volumes of adventurous, fun-filled & thrilled journey of Major Cornwall and Major Trevelyan. The word scoundrels are not specifically for majors but rather a secretive club dedicated to great Britain. But the name does signify their activities which can not be done through political dialog or war. They do the nasty jobs.

The first volume started in recent times where Major Cornwall pushed Major Trevelyn to work on a combined memoir of their adventures. After much cooing and pushing around Major Trevelyan reluctantly accepted Cornwall's request. And thus started a rollercoaster of comedy. The very first incident they mentioned was "Race to Dakor desert". After that followed, their encounter with the Chinese Emperor. After giving a brief of what is to be expected (if you continue reading the book) both major took sequential narration of their memoir. The first part covers both major's school lives, how they entered the Scoundrel club, how they brought a secret weapon from Nazis, survived as prisoners of war in the Japanese army's captivity. The first part ends with Majors making enmity with Gruber Hansclapp.

The second volume starts with Major Cornwall getting poisoned by Hansclapp, and then went to Istanbul to destroy his plans. On their mission to Istanbul, Major Trevelyan met a lovely 8 years old girl named Anais and adopted her. Same way Major Cornwall adopted a gorilla named Titus. In this part, Major Trevelyan got married and got himself stuck knee-deep problems. Check out both the books to know more. I haven't given any spoilers. So don't worry. 

Major Cornwall is shown smarter of the two always get stuck in the problem and later on saved by Major Trevelyan. Both of them, or I would say most of the club members, were shown as super-rich and their lifestyle is shown with comic style. The way Majors use a variety of liquor and specially made tobacco for various situation/place/moods bring a smile to your faces.  

Now coming to characters & storytelling, I must have mentioned fun quotient more than 7-8 times, and you will find multiple styles of comedy. There is a black comedy, blue comedy, situational comedy, physical comedy, character comedy and whatnot. The selection of words is time appropriate. The first volume was around the second world war, and the second volume covers a decade after the second world war. 

Language is not age-appropriate, it is strictly 16+ material. 

My advice is not to read the book in public, you may end up laughing out loud and may embarrass yourself. 

With this, I will complete the review. Talking about ratings
1) Scoundrel - 4.25/5
2) Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp - 3.75/5

Book Links - 
Amazon - Volume 1 & Volume 2
GoodReads - Volume 1 & Volume 2


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