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Cold Bean Porridge and a Virgin Milkmaid

Disgruntled Goodreads Expat

This novel brought to you by the words "manqué" and "bijou"

Consenting Adults: Or, the Duchess Will Be Furious - Peter De Vries

Ted Peachum's father is famous for hibernating (I almost said "hibernating through the winter months," but Ted helpfully informs us that the word itself is seasonal, and that estivation is the term reserved for those who sleep through summer, so the distinction is unnecessary).  Come November, he--well, you get the idea.  It's hardly worth noting, except the hibernation business opens the book and, after a great first chapter, is hardly mentioned again.  One could read that one chapter as a short story, then put the book down and walk away, and one wouldn't miss much.  Ted Peachum's father hibernates--Ted Peachum himself could send you off to sleep.  Yawn.  Honestly.  An insufferable bore who spends his time moving furniture, spouting off supposedly-pithy quotes to his disciples (somehow he has disciples), and pursuing randy sex while trying to avoid lusting after his best friend's underage sister (whose mother is nonetheless keen on him eventually settling for), Ted is...well, an insufferable bore, etc.  Then he moves to New York and pursues randier sex (including a ménage à quatre with a set of triplets), then he goes back home and settles for the now-of-age younger sister.  The end.


The words "manqué" and "bijou" are tossed about gratuitously, especially in the middle third of the book (goddamn once per page, almost), along with a host of other five-dollar words that turn this supposedly comic novel into both a snore and a chore to read.  I was too bored to keep a list the first time, and I'm not dedicated enough to dive back in to seek them out.  You'll have to trust me on this.