The Amateur Gentleman Is Amateurish Novel

The Amateur Gentleman follows the adventures of Barnabas Barty, son of a champion prizefighter. Thanks to an unexpected inheritance, Barnabas has cash to “learn to be a gentleman.”

The Amateur Gentleman reads like a first novel, packed with episodes and characterizations drawn on the author’s reading in Dickens, Fielding, and Trollope. Had he been writing today, Jeffrey Farnol would have put in zombies and a werewolf.

The windfall in the opening chapter sets the direction Farnol takes in the remainder of the novel. Something unexpected happens in each chapter, and each unexpected occurrence is less plausible than the one before.

Barnabas is as implausible as the plot in which he’s tangled. Even before he begins his lessons in genteel deportment, Barnabas can tame a wild horse and charm an elderly duchess with equal ease.

Barnabas has all the manly virtues and roughly a quarter of the manly brain. His virtue is apparent to everyone except his enemies and the lovely heiress he wants to marry, all of whom are his intellectual equals.

Farro’s whimsical chapter titles are the only hint of the delightful light entertainment he went on to produce once he got his reading out of his system.

The Amateur Gentleman
By Jeffery Farnol
Illus. Herman Pfeifer
1913 Bestseller #6
My grade C-
Project Gutenberg EBook #9879
My grade C

© 2013 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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