Obviously, Monty Python isn't everyone's cup of tea and, logically, neither will the Mandrake Hotel and Resort to violence if necessary by Jared Ora Kintz. They're both very silly. However, if you are the type of person who enjoyed Monty Python, you must get this book. You're in for a treat.
John Cleese should be cast as Rot Kugelschreiber, the hotel's owner. After all, Cleese has experience in the hotel business as proprietor of Fawlty Towers. I would love to see him presiding over a resort featuring “hidden passageways, secret hallways, doors that lead to nowhere, windows to the soul, stairs that wind like windmills, rotating walls, beds disguised as couches, sink handles that open doors, elevators that double as community showers, a dungeon, a torture chamber, and even a screening room that plays an endless loop of the movie Battlefield Earth.” That should give Cleese ample room to spread his birdlike wings and silly walk to his heart's content.
Now before you dismiss all this as too absurd, let me point out that there is an extremely popular restaurant in San Clemente, California, just down the road from where I live, that offers a private dining room in a converted jail cell, an establishment that would fit right into the Mandrake Hotel. Also, a couple of hundred miles to the north, you may visit the Madonna Inn, that also offers theme rooms, everyone different, similar to the Mandrake Hotel. Thus, the author hasn't wandered too far afield from reality, just enough to invoke a sense of wonder.
Allow me to digress to the silliness of the Mandrake Hotel. Americans usually don't do silly very well. The British excel at it in venues such as Monty Python because it's so unexpected. They are simply too stiff and proper to be silly, however, to me, that's what makes them funny.
Fortunately, Kintz has been more restrained in his application of silly than most other Americans. He paints broad outlines of the characters as well as the Hotel and allows the reader to fill in the blanks to their own satisfaction. In fact, he has succeeded as only one other American author has in this genre, Max Shulman whom you may recognize as the author of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis which became a popular sitcom on American television during from 1959 to 1963. By the way, Shulman's story featured a quirky beatnik named Maynard G. Krebbs, played by Bob Denver who became popular as Gilligan on Gilligan's Island.
Monty Python. Max Shulman. Krintz is playing in the major leagues here. The Mandrake Hotel and Resort to violence only if necessary is a home run of their special brand of humor.
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