Kirkus Star


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The word caper should be reserved for performances such as King's imaginative, energetic art-heist comedy, which not only rushes along at breakneck pace but also prances and kicks its heels as it goes. Like most, it's a club-footed caper from the perpetrators' standpoint, starting off on the wrong foot when dyslexic Ringo, transporting a two-million-pound painting pinched by older brother Elvis, takes London's number 14 bus instead of the 41. (Later, he lucks out by visiting the old lady at street number 66 instead of 99.) Ringo's error lands him overnight in the underground tube situation. . . thence to an abandoned firehouse and a squatting tribe of theatrical, glitter-dusted, hippie ""angels"" . . . then by Rolls to the executive suite of a posh, world-syndicate ""collector"" . . . via the same chauffeured car to a tough gang of gunmen who want the picture. . . down their street to a deaf old lady who will innocently harbor it. . . and then, escaping from the gang via the old lady's riverside drainpipe, onto the boat of art forger Big Van who has done an expert copy of the painting Elvis has just stolen. There follow encounters with police, kid ""pirates,"" and a pompous art expert who mistakes the fake for the real picture, then later dismisses the real one as fake when Ringo and Big Van get it back on the boat. At last Ringo, the gangsters, Elvis and his mate Shane, the picture, bombs, a guard, and a guard dog pile up at the zoo--with the reptile house snakes the anarchist gang has been plotting to release. They are soon joined by half London's police and men from the telly, in a climax described later in the headlines that Ringo is now motivated to read: BOAT BOY FOILS ART HAUL GANG'S SNAKE LIB ZOO BLAST BID. Now that Ringo's story is out there'll be more--like GREAT KID WINS LAFFS, CHEERS, LEAVES FANS WINDED.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1979
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell