Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna

The Cuckoos of Batch MagnaWhen Sir Humphrey Miles Pinkerton Strange, huntin' shootin' and fishin' Squire of Batch Magna, goes to his reward (doubtless to find God as true-blue British as his more recent but equally worthy ancestors), his rambling but rotting estate passes to distant relative Humph, a hapless dollar doodler in New York.With $$ in his eyes, Humph decides to make a killing by transforming the sleepy backwater of Batch Magna into a theme park image of rural England - a vacation paradise for free-spending US millionaires.

But while the village's threadbare businessmen see the plan as a windfall, the tenants of the estate's dilapidated houseboats are above any consideration of filthy lucre and stand their ground for tradition's sake . and because they consider eviction notices not to be cricket.Each disgruntled faction sees the other as the unwelcome cuckoo chick in the family nest!

So, lead by randy pulp-crime writer Phineas Cook and Lt-Commander James Cunningham DSO, DSC and Bar, RN (ret) - a man with a glass eye to suit every occasion (and all painted with naval battle scenes where the Union Jack flies triumphant) - the motley crew takes on Wall Street .

*May Contain Spoilers*

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna by Peter Maughan is a humorous novel based in England, or Wales (depending on your nationality), and shares the story of the erratic troop that call the grounds home when it is threatened by an outsider. 

Batch Magna itself is the main character of the novel - with each actual character a piece of it's personality. The stubborn Commander. The foolish Phineas. The adventurous (and I use this term loosely) Lucy. The wanderer Daniel. The know it all Jasmine. The mothering Annie. All of these traits add up to one hilarious main character as they take on the next heir of the estate, Humph. Readers will thoroughly enjoy reading about the group's plan to kill Humph and let the estate pass to another relative of the late Sir Strange. Though it will be hard for readers to connect with all of the characters as a whole - they will definitely find at least one quality that will bring them into the story, evoking true feelings for the fate of the crazy troop.

The plot is a wonderful tale of finding happiness, pride, and courage within. As Humph comes to know the villagers of Batch Magna, he finds that he actually likes them (even with the death threats). Through the progression of the book, Humph discovers that to be himself he must go against the wishes of others and stand up for what he thinks is right. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

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