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The Affected Provincial's Companion, Vol. I Hardcover – 8 Aug 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (8 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596911417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596911413
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.8 x 20.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,042,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Whimsy can civilize anyone! 6 Oct. 2006
By Stanley Lieber - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Before I acquired this volume (in its original self-published edition), I could be found trudging my city's streets clad in vaguely humanoid-shaped advertising logos that were held together by little more than inferior quality, pseudo-organic strings of solid dirt. In other words, I almost completely blended into my surroundings. Contrasted against my rather unusual face, it was quite a "before" picture, let me tell you. Thankfully, through the gentle intervention of this volume and its blatantly heroic author, I underwent a complete transformation, came to my senses, and arrived at the final vision of gentlemanly composure I am widely regarded as projecting today. I credit our friend Whimsy with awakening within my person various aspirations that I had never before considered for myself. It could be said that this volume served as a glass through which, for the very first time, I could finally see my own soul -- clearly. Alas, Whimsy had long peered at us through this and other similar devices, lovingly assessing our individual progress, until finally satisfying himself that we were prepared to take on the responsibility of wielding the glass for our own general use. Such is this man's tactful generosity! The betterment of all mankind was within reach, lacking only the responsible use of the appropriate tools, and so along came Lord Whimsy with his Affected Provincial's Companion (ne Almanack). It is a contribution to be praised.

When first opening the volume it is imperative to remain alert, to not be so overcome by the colorful revelation of the endpapers that one slips and separates skin from muscle and muscle from bone upon the die-cut recesses of the exquisitely designed front cover. Or, perhaps that is what the gilded canals are for and aren't we clever for sussing it out, dear reader. Some form of Mayan magic may in fact underlay the hypnotism affected by this book's intriguing design motifs. In the absence of an admission of guilt -- and on this point Whimsy is quite tight-lipped -- suppose we shall have to continue speculating, harmlessly. (Perhaps this is another example of the civilizing effect Whimsy's writings have had on me.)

As each article is digested, it is recommended that an ounce of lactose-free milk (to derive from the mammal of the reader's choice; or perhaps even the noble soy bean) be ingested -- slowly -- so as to provide carriage for the verbiage that might otherwise become lodged in the throat. This may be chased with one cup of bergamot-infused tea and readings from the author's website.

When the reader is nearing the end of the book, a handwritten note, which the reader may have previously inserted into the final pages (if he or she were thinking clearly after reading the first few lines of the first page, that is), will remind the reader that, yes, this is only the first volume in a projected series and that no, the heart need not be siezed into a state of biblio intertio by the body's looming heart-related authorities -- that is to say, literary cardiac arrest. My brotherly advice to the tender-hearted is to simply return to the book's initial verses and begin to read through it again. It may be found that repeated study actually reduces the ailments typically suffered as the body degenerates into old age. Yes, Whimsy's wisdom may silently work changes in your body that do not become apparent for many decades hence!

However, let us be simple, for the sake of those readers who may not be swayed by the awesome magnitude of humble truth: For the adventurous, this slim volume will bring a knowing grin. For the delusional, possible salvation. Give our man Whimsy the benefit of your attention. Do your duty as a citizen of the world. Acquire and internalize this book today!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Silly Satire or Serious Fun? 4 Jan. 2007
By Joseph A. Franceski - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imagine a book written by an early 19th century country squire and self-appointed dandy, musing on style and grace and the pursuit of butterflies. Imagine an English country version of a risible Proustian sensualist, becoming enchanted and then aroused by a work of art. This is the world of Lord Whimsy and his various and sundry thoughts and writings. An incredbile anachronism, full of humorous opinions on the pursuit of life dedicated to true beauty- - both in ones dress and in ones heart. It seems almost impossible that someone would write such a book in the 20th or 21st centuries. Each chapter is a self-standing essay on art, clothing, style, birds, bees, fantastic bicycles and life in the soporific langour of outer New Jersey pretending to be Dorset or Cornwall. I love this book, but someone said it is satire. I can't tell if it's satire or serious fun, as in "I am never more serious than when I am having fun." I await the opportunity, soon I hope, to meet his Lordship at one of his public readings. That will be something!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Indeed an artifact of GRACE and BEAUTY! 8 Aug. 2006
By Mason Dixon - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a book like no other. I picked it up this morning at my local bookstore and ended up spending every free minute of my day dipping into it. If you love beautifully produced books, if you take even the slightest interest in matters of style, if you believe that the notion of the metrosexual is ludicrous and that what the world really needs is the return of dandyism, if you love silly - and not so silly - mini-essays on how to ride a highwheel and all kinds of other things, if you love latinate prose that's laced with irony, then buy this. If you don't - well, buy the book and find out why you should!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
All Hail Lord Whimsy! 9 Aug. 2006
By Lisa Simeone - Published on
Format: Hardcover
How could one fail to be charmed by this book?! Simultaneously clever, witty, insightful, hilarious, resplendent, and downright silly, this is a book for all time -- but especially now, when, as Whimsy so aptly puts it, the Perils of Sportswear are all around us. Here is a man who seeks beauty -- and Beauty -- and as far as I'm concerned those are valuable pursuits. Man does not live by misery and ugliness alone (although one could be forgiven for looking around and thinking he does)! Let a little whimsy into your life -- buy this book for yourself and all your friends.

P.S. Great diagrams, too!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Puckish Satire of Contemporary Mores 13 Aug. 2006
By young fogey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Affected Provincial's Companion (vol. I) is, quite simply, a semi-serious philosophical examination of the construction of the persona, wrapped up in custom silk pyjamas from Timothy Everest and an ancient silk top hat, balancing a first edition of Francis Dashwood's memoirs atop a large rubber nose, and alchemically distilled into book form. A mere trifle, and so much more.

Whimsy alternately amuses the reader with his sparkling wit, lulls them into a reflective state, and sends them scurrying for the dictionary. Despite his erudition, Whimsy's words are such a pleasure that the most churlish reader could not be put off by them, and even the advanced and adventurous gentleperson will find a trove of delight from which to augment their education.

With his hawk eye and peacock-plume pen, Whimsy dissects everything from sportswear to nostalgia to hobbies, giving the reader a new sense of wonder at each turn. If you've an interest in the philosophy of style, an appreciation of the life well-lived or a taste for white raspberry tarts with ginger cream, The Affected Provincial's Companion is essential reading for you.
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