THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS by Haas Jorgen Lemboura


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An educated, spicy, savage and very funny satire of modern life, written by a Dane, is modelled after Voltaire's Candide Count Fredrick, like many picaresque heroes, is innocent, handsome, and full of good will- he is also rich. His tutor, Engelsen, a Marxist of exceptionally flexible dialectic, tries to explain why he should share the Count's wealth and the pert serving-girl, Pernille. But the Count's grandfather dies- and the land is taken over by the state. Holiday makers, beach houses, ice-cream stands soon ruin the estate and the Count takes a job with the welfare state, ending up half buried in paper, secretaries, etc. Having thus disposed of socialism in 39 brilliant, frenzied pages, the book next moves the Count, Engelsen and Pernille into Russia, for a satire on the prison camp system, then on to Spain, Saudi-Arabia, etc. These three experience the grislier aspects of present day totalitarianisms, escape to Denmark and there share the loonier results of democracy- free enterprise, psychoanalysis, modern poetry, quiz shows. Finally the Count wins back his castle and a lovely Italian princess... It's perhaps too dry- and harsh-to be belly- laugh funny (nor was Voltaire), but it is continuously, fiercely entertaining.

Publisher: Putnam