‘The Last Man Lunching and Other Such Tales’ is a glorious romp through the fictitious world of AJ Frobisher, an Officer and a Gentleman, and, in the true spirit of P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster, only this time on steroids, it is a triumph of adversity over triumph! Each chapter contains a separate story, spun from one of the many incidents in his shambolic life and range from his days as a mere youth in post World War II England to an age when he really should’ve known better! It is daft; it is silly, but, more than that, it is highly amusing, as Frobisher battles with love, life and fate and everything else that gets in the way and anything that can go wrong usually does, but, undaunted, Frobisher faces each challenge with the tenacity of a limpet clinging to a sinking ship!
A run-down of each chapter gives you a flavour of the madness to come! The book opens with ‘Great Aunt Dotty’s Will or How to Lose a Fortune Without Really Trying’, a cautionary tale of bodysnatching and skullduggery between rival factions of Frobisher’s family, as he tries desperately to help his father inherit Great Aunt Dotty’s fortune under the eccentric terms of her will.
‘Two Cups of Tea and a Slice of Revolution, Please or How to Lose an Election and Win at the Same Time!’, is a sobering tale of revolutionary, political intrigue and scandal, involving blackmail, mad monks, Groucho Marx and, of course, sex, as Frobisher attempts to get elected to his local Parish Council to stop it closing down the village pub, his home from home, due to the disorderly behaviour of its clientele.
‘The Last Man Lunching or Death by a 1,000 Cold Cuts!’, is an essay on how to scrounge a free lunch under even the most unfavourable circumstances when the chips are down and disgustingly greasy and served up with a soggy fried egg and a dollop of congealed baked beans on the side. It is the ultimate proof, though, that there’s no such thing as a free lunch!
‘An Expensive Lesson To Learn or a Bit of a Boob or Two!’ takes Frobisher back to his prep school days for an early lesson in lust and how the temptations of the flesh can lead even the most innocent of lads astray, fortunately! In the end, though, he loses more than just his innocence in a deal with the Devil, in the guise of Fatty Johnson, the school lowlife!
On the other hand, ‘Times Past, Times Forgotten, Times Remembered, Times Roman’ is set decades later, long after the first flush of his youth and brings back into his life the memory of a long, forgotten fling or rather the offspring of that flung fling in the form of a mystery blonde called Daisy. It is while unravelling her tale that Frobisher discovers more about his past than even he thought he knew!
‘Me and Khrushchev or Down and Out on My Cuban Heels’ charts one man’s valiant attempt to survive the Cuban Missile Crisis on just vintage port and the last of his Havana cigars. As America and the Soviet Union stood eyeball to eyeball on the brink of mutually assured destruction, Frobisher, suffering his worst hangover for ages, dispenses advice from his cellar to the ‘Powers-That-Be’ who fortunately return it, unopened, address unknown, otherwise, who knows, we might all have gone up in smoke!
Lastly, ‘The Case of The Missing Vegetable or Thrilled to the Marrow!’ demonstrates the depths of depravity that gardeners will descend to in order to win the coveted, first prize in class trophy at the Annual Village Produce Show. No trick is too diabolical or too low not to be used and Frobisher’s bid to snatch top spot in the Best of Marrows competition from rival, arch vegetable grower and ex-military man, Major Barstow-Jones, aka Major Blunderbuss, is about as diabolically low as it can get!
‘The Last Man Lunching and Other Such Tales’ is a fun-packed, often hilarious, collection of tales that displays the British sense of humour at its best. It will keep you amused from start to finish!