The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

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by Mackenzi Lee | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0062382802 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/11/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, August 11, 2018
I got this hardcover from Barnes and Noble, after enjoying the audiobook version narrated by Christian Coulson. It's a sprightly tale of a spoiled young man who's always getting into trouble - not least because of his taste for the company of other young men - and whose father determines to give him one last chance to correct his behavior or (now that there's a new baby boy in the family) be disinherited. Monty's being sent on a Grand Tour of Europe, accompanied by his best friend (and so-far-unaware love-interest) Percy, who has his own trials: he's the half-black illegitimate son of an aristocratic father, who's raised him kindly enough but who can't prevent the prejudice of others. Oh, and he has epilepsy, something that Monty doesn't realize until he sees Percy in a fit. Seems Percy's destined to be sent to an asylum in the Netherlands, as his illness can't be cured, so this tour will be the last time they're together.

Monty can't stay out of trouble even while fretting over his friend's fate, and he inadvertently steals a much-sought-after McGuffin while being seduced by a beautiful woman who happens to be the mistress of the Duke of Bourbon. Cue an attack on the party by bandits (actually the Duke's men), and the separation of Monty, Percy, and Monty's sister Felicity (being escorted to a young lady's school, which the bookish Felicity has no interest in) from their tour-guide and guardian.

More wacky adventures ensue, with ups and downs that get pretty bleak at times; while the pirates (of course there are pirates!) turn out to be kinder and gentler than feared, there are other forces pitted against our heroes, who have no compunction at all about using violence, treachery, and murder to gain their ends. And when it turns out that the little trinket Monty stole is the key to an alchemical cure-all that could save Percy, the chase is on!

Monty is not always a very likable character, even while narrating his own story; he really is spoiled and self-centered and often quite foolish. Why Percy loves him is sometimes hard to see (and while the reader guesses it early on, Monty himself doesn't realize it for ages - I did say he was a bit dim). Both Percy and Felicity step up to help in the quest, keep Monty out of trouble, and try to enjoy their travels without being captured or killed, and eventually Monty himself learns some things - such as to value Percy for himself, ill or not, and to think more about others than about his impulses of the moment.

There are some highly dramatic scenes in the middle of the goofiness, and there's a very satisfying revelation having to do with Monty's relationship with his proud and overbearing father. And while the tale of Monty and Percy may wrap up here, it seems there's a sequel focusing on Felicity, who has her own quest ahead of her. Enjoyable read!

[There's a TV Tropes page on the book, with some entertaining tidbits.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Hilltop Cafe in Wilton, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Released 2 yrs ago (6/27/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library, Hilltop Cafe in Wilton, New Hampshire USA


I left this book in the stylish new Little Free Library outside the Hilltop Cafe on this beautiful, warm day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2019 Pride LGBTQ release challenge. ***

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