October 12, 2002

Sir Apropos of Nothing, by Peter David

This is a deceptively silly book about destiny and the nature of fantasy fiction. I picked it up on a whim, based on the cover description, thinking that it was more likely to be really bad, but if good might be a lot of fun.

It's the story of a young man named Apropos, the son of a prostitute and the child of an unknown father. He's got a mishapen and useless leg (a birth defect), a flame shaped book mark, and a bad attitude; he's a classic anti-hero in the style of Harry Flashman. In fact, the book reads rather like a mixture of Harry Flashman with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. For a period of time, Apropos is squire to Sir Umbrage of the Flaming Nether Regions (the name describes his manor, not his person); at one point he encounters the dreadful Harpers Bizarre.

Except that sometimes it's more serious than that.

I began the book skeptically; I grew to enjoy it; by the end, after numerous twists and surprises, I was really rather pleased. The closing scene is as good a close as I've seen in quite awhile.

There's a sequel out in hardcover, The Woad to Wuin; I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by Will Duquette at October 12, 2002 12:09 PM

Tom Heaven said:

this is a good that i can identify being how both apropos and myself are disableed