Sunday 11 February 2024

Reading 2024: Money from Holme by Michael Innes

Some people do the Wordle puzzle to keep their minds agile. The writer known as both J.I.M Stewart and Michael Innes seems to have written novels with the same end in mind. He was astonishingly prolific. 

Money from Holme is set in the art world of London. It is only 171 pages long. Those pages contain a cleverly plotted tale about an unprepossessing man who thinks he can take advantage of an artist but ends up in a farce. As the story treats the politics of a fictitious African country as risible - 

"First, there was a Fascist revulsion. Then there was a Communist revulsion. And after that there was the revulsion of the Moderate Democrats. That was the worst"

- it probably wouldn't be allowed to be published now. Additionally, much fun is had with the muddled English of a London gallery owner of probably Central European origin, which is a racism of sorts, I suppose, if you're in the market for taking offence at racism. 

The novel is frivolous and amusing and contains a reference to those "rotten chaps in Whitehall" and so I enjoyed it. It is definitely not a must-read for the improvement of one's soul but it may give some people an hour or two of mild pleasure. 

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