Trade Ed. Random House Audio 2010
DD ISBN 9780307751591 $20.00
A bittersweet, whimsical delight, Stuart’s novel fascinates, repels, and charms with every page. Beefeater Balthazar Jones lives in the famed Tower of London, with his Greek wife and 180-year-old pet tortoise, amid shockingly despicable and often-hilarious indignities. Further complexities ensue when the Royal Family decides to move the Royal Menagerie to the Tower—under Balthazar's care. These exotic animals, gifts to the Queen, are the source of chaotic escapes and escapades while the caretakers' ribald and sweet romance blooms. Jonathan Cowley strikes the perfect narrative pose as he complacently describes the characters' foibles. Cowley shares the improbable events with British equanimity and a delicate caustic tone. This magical novel is unforgettable—especially the wildly imaginative treasures that emerge in the London Underground Lost Property Office, where Jones’s wife works. A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2010]
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