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BANDICOOT by Richard Condon



Pub Date: March 1st, 1978
Publisher: Dial

A sequel to Condon's earlier pseudo-entertainment, Arigato (1972). As in the first installment, Captain Colin Huntington, Royal Navy (ret.), has followed his compulsion to waste his fortune, now going 287,000 quid into debt by way of gambling losses at London's Denbigh Club. This means that Central Credit World-Wide may divest him of his credit line from Aruba to Divonne-les-Bains, from Vegas to Macao and the world's other major casinos. Huntington's not too worried at first. Hasn't he just inherited five million pounds? Well, yes, but he won't get his hands on it for at least ten months. And so he hocks his gloriously acquisitive American wife Bitsy's set of opals to cover his debt. She immediately asks for divorce. But Huntington signs over his inheritance to her and, worse, takes a job! Bitsy relents, and so does his soprano saxophone-playing mistress Yvonne, who achieves brilliant bravura passages on the ""monumentally ithyphallic"" Huntington. (She sometimes masquerades as her depraved twin sister Claire, a heroin addict who finally goes berserk with two pistols and is shot down.) Huntington pursues new opals in Australia, rides about in his super Rolls Royce, his hot-air balloon, his hovercraft, and so on, taking time out to consume his Basque chef's ineffable creations. And Condon, in magisterial euphoria, thus hoses down the reader with an unrelieved flow of the world's richest consumer goods. Despite all the obvious attempts to give giddy pleasure--this is a relentless diddle, a hideous twaddle, an expense of spirit in a waste of shame. . . and not entertaining.