Saturday, 7 April 2012
Juan In America
Author: Eric Linklater
Year of publication: 1931, Panther edition 1965
Back cover blurb: 'Juan Motley is, according to Mr. Linklater's extravagant imagination, a lineal descendant of Don Juan. Suavely European to his fingertips, a wicked, witty philanderer who firmly believes "everything is made for love". In this outrageous tale, the author lets him loose on the American scene - with devastating results.'
Quick flick reveals: This is technically not a lost book, as it was recently republished by Capuchin Classics, a company that specializes bringing back to life semi-forgotten books of interest. Not many people seem to have noticed, however, and so I don't have too much of a problem with including it here.
Another bawdy picaresque (a genre that raises its engorged purple head quite often in the Lost Book Library) about a horny European shagging his way around the US in satirical fashion, this actually might just be a proper, good book that people forgot to read for a bit. The type is certainly small enough to suggest that, anyway. Or, to quote J.B. Priestley's review, it looks like it is 'magnificent frolic'.
Random paragraph: 'Olympia stirred, opened her eyes, yawned, and stretched herself. As if it were a lagoon shaken by some vast submarine catastrophe the bed moved with her. The counterpane heaved like billows, the mattress rocked, and as a quire of harps the bedsprings jangled. During these turbulent seconds Juan remembered that morning does not always approve what night has done, and it occured to him that Olympia might be less willing to find him in her bed than she had been to invite him to it. One acted on impulse and sometimes one was sorry for it. There was such a thing as regret. And though Olympia seemed too noble a creature ever to entertain that snivelling emotion one could never be quite sure. Juan waited anxiously.'