My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve long been a fan of Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine. I was mildly interested when The Crimes of Galahad was published and then read a review from two reviewers I trust who both enjoyed it and also declined to describe much of it. This piqued my interest. The good Dr. Boli’s secretary has provided me with a review copy which I very much appreciated, especially since the inscription was beautifully written in calligraphy, although the paper was not Bousted’s Number 8 or even Number 6.
I am moved to say that upon opening the book, I was captivated by the perfection of the layout and typesetting as a 19th century novel (especially of the title page). Many know I am a type and layout crank … so this was a very pleasant surprise.
“But what of the story?” you very reasonably ask.
Galahad Newman Bousted (pronounced Boasted) is the son of a simple stationer in the 1800s. In the depths of despair over his lack of prospects, he comes across a review of a French book, The Pursuit of Evil. It argues that the superior man chooses evil in accordance with the dictates of nature. It is impossible to get a copy of the book, but the logic strikes Galahad so forcefully that he immediately determines to give himself to evil, by which he means to make all decisions based on self-interest. He sets forth to seek his fortune and woo the woman of his dreams. Can Galahad achieve a life of pure evil?
I would tell you more but that would both prematurely unfold the the tale, skillfully written by Dr. Boli, and spoil the point. The book not only entertained me considerably but also made me mull over the conclusion ever since I’ve finished it. There is a deep grounding in truth versus appearance, intention versus actions, and many other puzzles of human nature. It also made me look up Francois Boucher’s paintings on Wikipedia. Ooo-la-la!
All in all, The Crimes of Galahad is a book I highly recommend and one that I suspect I must discuss to mine it’s full value.