Not that I blame them I think most of us at that age were horrified to watch the U.
S armed forces getting involved in a local dispute over oil prices It seemed like a plot from a farcical novel.
And so The Mouse That Roared, in which the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick declares war on the United States over wine exports Of course, they don t expect to win such a war, but look forward to gaining foreign aid after being defeated in battle Hi jinks ensue, as they will.
Not quite what happened in the 1990s, but still politically valid and funny The end of the cold war was still ongoing, after all The narrative of competition was still going strong Perhaps that s why the sequel works for me after all these years, also.
In The Mouse on the Moon, the prime minister puts in a request for a loan to the United States, couched in a language to insinuate that the Duchy of Fenwick wants to take up the U.
S s spirit of international corporation and start a space program Really, the goal is to modernize the small country over the head of the opposition leadership And buy the Duchess a fur coat Mr Bentner, representing, as has been noted, the workingmen of Grand Fenwick, was by the curious alchemy of politics a radical conservative Although the word conservative to him was an expression close to poisonous, and although he regarded himself as a progressive socialist, the fact was that in the interests of the workingman, he opposed all change in the Duchy Wibberley s spot on parody of dialectic politics is probably even relevant today, in our time of having a liberal yet fiscally conservative President opposed by conservatives who want to do away with long existing government programs.
Anyway, the U.
S decides to give the small country 50 million dollars in aid, not expecting any actual rockets to appear, but to embarrass the Soviet Union in front of the world Not that the rest of the world actually cares Prior to the announcement there had been an open discussion of the problem of internationalizing space exploration to the utter befuddlement of some of the representatives of some of the younger nations These, sent at enormous expense to New York from remote parts of Equatorial Africa, each nursing some acute problem concerning its claim to a gold mine or a section of a muddy river, or a thousand square miles of jungle into which few but pygmies had ever penetrated, found the great nations of the world at loggerheads over who should own the moon Needless to say, Fenwick actually succeeds in coming up with a ship that can travel to the moon The technology is based on a mythical radio active element that occurs within certain types of the native Pinot Noir The idea of cheap, wine based rocket fuel is a bit of silliness, but the author actually has done a lot of research into space travel and manages to justify some of the ridiculous aspects And make fun of the U.
S Russia competition for getting to the moon using as much speed and power as possible We re in no hurry and a great increase in speed brings a huge number of problemsheat, for instance The outer shell of the rocket would get heated up to such a degree that it might vaporize Then there are meteorites which are microscopic in sizeWe ll just chug along at a nice, steady thousand miles an hour This is a quick, one day read a good plane trip book, perhaps Because of it s shortness, there is a bit of jumping around Rather than having segues, the reader is expected to keep up with little jumps in the plot as each chapter tends to concentrate on one pair of characters at a time But this is of a stylistic tic of 1960s humor writing than a failure of the writer Also, if you are a fan of vintage paperback covers, this series features some art by illustrator Robert Bugg So, go ahead, take a break and laugh at the world for a bit While we still have it.
As they stood looking toward this appalling horizon which, though so distant, seemed near enough to touch, earth raised herself over the lunar desolation a lovely huge blue liquid jewel, hung in a sky of sable The sight was so entrancing that neither of them could speak It was magnificent beyond anything they had ever seen, and the light which earth now gave to the moon was not the harsh, blinding light of the burning sun, but a gentle bluish light, consoling as a benediction, taking the savagery out of the terrible craters and fissures and mountains of the moon and investing them with a softness that made them almost lovely in turn I never knew it was so beautiful, said Vincent at last It is lovely beyond everything else in all the heavens It is our home, said Dr Kokintz simply and sadly.
Spurred By The Count Of Mountjoy, Who Wants Proper Plumbing For The Kingdom And A Russian Sable Coat For Her Grace, And By Dr Kokintz, Who Sees A Potential New Source Of Energy By Mixing Iron Filings And Fenwick Pinot Wine, A Loan From The US Is Arranged A Rocket Is Fired And Grand Fenwick Lands On The Moon Before American And Russian Astronauts Een gezellige voortzetting van de wereldhit De muis die brulde Dezelfde karakter die we ondertussen al redelijk goed kennen spelen opnieuw mee al komen er enkele andere spelers op de voorgrond Opnieuw geen schollende gebeurtenissen maar een soort onderkoelde manier van vertellen Een reis naar de maan is toch geen klein bier maar dat wordt op erg grappige manier een veel kleiner plaatsje gegeven dan een bontjas, een warm bad of een paar verdwaalde vogels.
Natuurlijk gaat het hertogdom opnieuw, ongewild, maar dit keer niet letterlijk, de strijd aan met de grootmachten van deze wereld Altijd postief, vaak grappig en soms ronduit hilarisch en vol dubbele bodems Opnieuw een topper.
Excellent read Always love dthe film the book is even better It helps that I m in my fifties I suspect that some of the political satire could be lost on much younger readers But loved it Wonderful light read with some insight on humans.
I am a huge fan of the Mouse that Roared and was very happy to read this sequel, which was as playful and poignant as the first Thank you to my friend Ben for this present Wibberly delivers once again in his sequel to The Mouse That Roared Fun story, once again a wonderful balance of comedy and story It s sad that the only movie version of this sequel completely lost the spirit of the book.
Cold War race to the Moon derailedWhat a delight that this very funny, hard to find series is now available on kindle In this second book Count Montjoy is trying desperately to get funds to install plumbing, and improve roads in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick In addition the young Duchess Gloriana has asked for a Russian sable fur coat The Count is in despair as there are virtually no funds to cover these unusual expenditures and the opposition party is against all change and any new taxes What to do Ask the U.
A for a 5 million dollar loan for the Grand Fenwick Space Program seems reasonable Of course nothing will go as planned, and the mouse will be heading for the moon with the 50 million dollars the U.
A insists on sending as a gift instead Hilarious The Cold War rises again.
I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob Ok, in all silliness this is pretty entertaining First you have the scheming of the Count of Mountjoy, who bemoans his apparent mediocrity, then you have the opportunity, which is the the Grand Duchess desire for a fur coat So he seizes said opportunity and sends a loan request to the US for 5 million to send a rocket to the moon, and a fur coat The Sec of which ever division whose lap this request fell to, after discussing it with his advisor, granted the Grand Duchy of Finwick 50 million for their space exploration Of course, as expected, they Ass You Me d that this was going to actually be used for improvements like roads and indoor plumbing.
Heh They even filled the request for a spare rocket one of the Saturns figuring it would be used for a giant water heater.
Imagine everyone s surprise when the Grand Duchy of Finwick beat both the US and the USSR to the moon, in a cast off rocket, powered by a hogshead of a very good year and a few hundred pounds of iron fillings.