Posts Tagged 'Punchy'



Ripping Book Review: Pirate City

WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the author and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.

PIRATE CITY by R. M. BALLANTYNE

First, a disturbing picture. It had the professor shivering. And this was before I knew he was 19-years-old:

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What a mustache!

One more picture of Mr. Prolific Mustache. Can you spot him? I should say, can you spot his mustache?

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Onward!

This little vexing book begins with a description of a little old lady.

How dull!

What a way to begin. First a disturbing picture, and then a description of a little old lady.

The professor was interested immediately.

Here’s the description:

This little old lady was so pleasant in all respects that an adequate description of her is an impossibility.

Well, then, don’t try. It would have saved the reader much unpleasantness.

Her mouth was a perfect study.

Incredible! But please, could we study it another time?

It was not troubled with anything in the shape of teeth.

Now that was a bit befuddling. What’s it supposed to mean, I wonder? Too scary to think on.

It lay between the delicate little down-turned nose and a soft little up-turned chin, which two seemed as if anxious to meet in order to protect it.

The imagery is disturbing here, and it’s also misleading. You see, the author said the old lady was pleasant.

The wrinkles that surrounded that mouth were innumerable, and each wrinkle was a distinct and separate smile; so that, whether pursing or expanding, it was at all times rippling with an expression of tender benignity.

It should be against the Book Law for authors to lie in such a brazen manner to the reader.

The next sentence sums up this little crime perfectly:

The little old lady plays no part in our tale…

How horribly vexing! After all the scary description, after all that anguish, after all that dadblamery, we find that it means nothing.

Moving on before the professor explodes.

Plot:

Basically, Mariano (the strange mustachioed fellow in the beginning) is our hero. He gets captured and imprisoned in the Pirate City, Algiers.

The book is about his escape.

But, in reality, this professor didn’t care if he ever escaped. You see, it was much better when he was stuck in the city. One with such facial hair should be kept in a cage, I think.

Now, this is how the professor was introduced to a new character, Ted Flaggan.

Before I quote this dull soul’s letter, you must understand this is stupidity at its finest. He doesn’t even know how to spell his name:

Sur i’m an irishman an a salier an recked on the cost of boogia wid six of me messmaits hoo are wel an arty tho too was drowndid on landing an wan wos spiflikated be the moors…

The professor won’t torture you with the rest, but it ends with this:

…yoor onors obedient humbil servint to command ted flagan.

The professor would give Mr. Mustache’s mustache to know what boogia and spiflikated was all about.

You see, the author enjoyed lying to the reader, and the above excerpt proves that he also enjoyed torturing the reader.

But, it gets even worse. The author lies to himself.

This is one particular scene:

Laying the man on the ground with his face downwards, the officers of justice sent away two of their number, who speedily returned with a blacksmith’s anvil and forehammer. On this they placed one of their victim’s ankles, and Flaggen now saw, with a sickening heart, that they were about to break it with the ponderous hammer. One blow sufficed to crush the bone in pieces, and drew from the man an appalling shriek of agony. Pushing his leg further on the anvil, the executioner broke it again at the shin, while the other officials held the yelling victim down. A third blow was then delivered on the knee, but the shriek that followed was suddenly cut short in consequence of the man having fainted. Still the callous executioner went on with his horrible task, and, breaking the leg once more at the thigh, proceeded to go through the same process with the other leg, and also with the arms.

And the author has this to say:

We would not describe such a scene as this were it not certainly true; and we relate it, reader, not for the purpose of harrowing your feelings…

I feel for Mr. Ballantyne. The man lies to himself. It was quite obvious that he enjoyed this scene immensely. And I believe he wanted to go on about it.

You see, Mr. Ballantyne delights in discussing awful topics (like the old lady) in the disguise that it is something sweet or improper.

The professor can’t do anymore.

One last thought.

The book should have been called: The Escape of Mr. Mustache.

 

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Ripping Book Review–Pride and Prejudice

WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the author and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by COLIN FIR…err…JANE AUSTEN

You must understand that the professor rips the following book out of duty. Mr. Mark Twain tried to read Pride and Prejudice, but he had a hard time of it. Consequently, then, we were left without a good ripping.

The professor had a hard time of it too. But I persevered.

Of course, the novel also caused repulsion, which sets it up beautifully for a ripping.

But before we begin, the professor must make something clear.

You see, Austen likes to deal in obscurity quite frequently. Whether this is because she doesn’t know what she wants to say, or because she is trying to be clever, I’m not sure.

But I would guess it’s the former.

Thus, we will encounter Austen Obscurity in this review.

So, let us begin, unhindered and unrepentant.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

This particular sentence has always interested the professor. It is quite commonly trumpeted about as if it is truly something special.

Well, it’s not.

Perhaps I err.

Maybe it is special; after all, I’m almost sure no one else could come up with so much dadblamery in one sentence.

It would be hard.

It would be a gift.

You see, the sentence is just…wrong, and plumb dishonest!

I’m sure there are many men in possession of a good fortune who are not in want of a wife, and that there are many men in possession of a good fortune who are in want of many wives.

Of course, though, Austen could be voicing how her characters feel about the matter.

Which might be true.

And this would make some sense, since all of Austen’s characters are dull to the point of so many tears the ocean would look dry.

You see, all of the characters are…dumb enough to believe such a thing. That’s what the professor is trying to say.

But I believe it’s none of the above. What Austen meant to say becomes clear at the end of the novel. Why she didn’t go back and revise, the professor isn’t sure.

This is how it should read:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of not much at all, must be in want of a husband who is very wealthy and obnoxious.

It makes much more sense that way, I think.

Now the paragraph that follows that sentence is a real hike. It’s a bit hard to understand on the first read.

It’s Austen Obscurity.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, [yes, it’s misspelled] this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

In truth, I almost fainted after the opening sentence coupled with that…that, but what comes next is slightly amusing.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day…

His lady?

Now that’s an interest.

I wonder where poor Mr. Bennet’s wife is…

Of course, though, his lady might be his wife. Another example of Austen Obscurity.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with obscurity—when you’re clever about it, that is.

Moving on.

The scene: A party.

And this is what Bingley says to Darcy:

… “Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty.”

Another interest. You see, Bingley is supposed to be good natured—but he’s not. Lurking beneath the surface is a monster.

I would have asked which girls, in particular, he found ugly or just pretty. Aha! That would have been a great Darcy comeback.

But Darcy isn’t too clever. You see, he ends up marrying someone who is, in his own words:

“…tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me…”

Not too clever at all.

And then after the party, we’re privy to a scene.

Elizabeth and Jane are speaking about a gentleman when Elizabeth says:

“He is also handsome,” replied Elizabeth, “which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can…”

If he possibly can? I wonder how she purposes they go about controlling it.

Maybe Austen secretly wished to able to control how she looked too. We don’t know.

And we better not think on it.

That’s about it for now.

You see, I can’t take anymore—even though there’s so much still to rip.

Perhaps the professor will return to it some day in the future for duty’s sake.

Or justice’s sake.

 


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Punchy Argot:

1. Dadblameit.
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3. Chickit
4. Chicky-woot-woot
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16. So many thanks, I can't begin to thank you
17. Ri-do-diculous

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