Tony by Patrick Dennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just had a re-reading spree including Patrick Dennis. You never know how these things will go. Books you loved years ago often lose their shine.
However, this one hadn't.
It's beautifully drawn character sketch of the anti-hero, Tony - J Anthony Vandenberg (Jackie to his mother) - from school days, through college, wartime, business, TV career and more to the final sighting in Algiers.
Told episodically, as are all the P Dennis books I've read, it works very well. The characters come to life. The 'I' of the story comes off the page well, too; a rounded character, not just a backdrop for the rest of the cast supporting Tony. I loved it years ago. I loved it now.
A great read.
Sadly, I couldn't say the same for Auntie Mame: written to a similar structure, I found it dated, the 'I' character almost incidental, not really integrated into the story. Saying that, there were passages of real genius and no-one can do accents like Patrick Dennis - neither incomprehensible nor intrusive, he catches voices perfectly.
I'm no fan of eye-dialect, but I make an exception for Mr Dennis.
I'm not going to review Auntie Mame separately because I remember how much I enjoyed it first time round. I would have given in 5 stars then, so I won't presume to put anyone off by giving it fewer now.
View all my reviews