THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON by Pierre Daninos

THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This continues the irreverent commentary of The Notebooks of Major Thompson (1955) in a fast whirl of England and the United States during which Daninos has his bafflement over the British, with interpolations from the Major, and the two are combined in their discoveries about a mutual terra incognita. Tribal customs beset Daninos and the Pochets, who join him, as a geyser in London, pets treated like kings and children raised like horses, schooling, current news items, and other strange indications of the peculiarities of English character destroy their preconceived notions of the race and the Major footnotes many explanations and excuses. Their jaunt to New York and further reaches underlines the Americans' love of numbers, their insane use of paper, their incomprehensible speech, their syntax of success and vocabulary of happiness, etc., etc. A rapid fire lampooning of popular images with their manifold exceptions, a three way criticism of odd types of behavior and a polite, if sharp, observation of contrasting social attitudes provide an entertaining transatlantic report enlivened further with corrective illustrations by Walter Goetz. For those who enjoyed the first book (and the moving picture that has been made from it) this should have a made-to-order audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1957
Publisher: Knopf