Do you know what the hardest part of writing a book review is? These bloody introductions! I know how much each author firstly puts into writing their book, and then promoting it, that I try to write something as individual as possible. That doesn’t always happen. However, when James Peak and co-author Duncan Crowe contacted me to review Scoundrels Volume One, I knew exactly what I wanted to say: how very happy I am to be able to present the work of these two charmingly cheeky, wonderfully witty and extremely talented writers. Don’t believe me, just check out what they wrote.
Scoundrels Volume One is the wacky memoirs of disreputable spies Majors Cornwall and Trevelyan. Neither wants the other to write their autobiography so decide to do it together. They take turns to tell the tales of their intertwining lives firstly during their school years and then as part of Scoundrels, an infamous gentlemen’s club in London.
This is not a book for the easily offended – and I don’t mean that lightly. It has coarse language, gruesome scenes and stories of Nazis, panda hunting, violence and murder. If you have a problem with any of these things, then you have a problem with Scoundrels. I took everything with a pinch of salt and was easily able to see the humour that lay behind the words. If you can do that too, then you will absolutely love this breath of fresh air.
The memoirs are compiled via letter correspondence between Cornwall and Trevelyan and I feel this method really works. It exemplifies the bickering between the two and their own unique memories of the same event. Speaking of Cornwall and Trevelyan, don’t expect to like them as characters. Yes, they are entertaining and make a great comedy duo but they are rich and exploitive and incredibly easy to hate. Perhaps this stark contrast to so many other books where there is at least one likeable or relatable character is what makes Scoundrels so special.
Accept this book for what it is: pure entertainment value. Don’t go searching for meaning within its pages but loosen up and be prepared to laugh out loud. Believe me, it is that boost of comedy you have been looking for.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.