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Firefly Gadroon by Jonathan Gash

Firefly Gadroon (1982)

by Jonathan Gash

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1403127,900 (3.48)2



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The positives: Good writing, action-filled and frequently amusing plot, many engaging characters and, above all, wonderful descriptions of antiques and the methods of antique dealers. The negatives: There's only one, really, which is the stereotyping of female characters. At first I thought this could be justified on the basis of Lovejoy himself, along with all sorts of other rat-baggery, being a sexist pig, but that would only work if the women didn't actually behave in stereotypical and degrading manners. They do. I've heard that in the first Lovejoy novel, published in 1977, he actually smacks around one of his lovers. Some readers said maybe that wasn't such an issue at the time when Jonathan Gash (terrible nom-de-plume) was writing it, but I have to disagree. I have read plenty of novels written anywhere from the late 19th century to the early 1970s, by both male & female authors, in which female characters were presented in a reasonable manner. It's a pity, but that one flaw left me with too much of a bad taste in my mouth to feel more positive about this book.

In summary, I may pick up Lovejoy novels, apart from the first one, (they are not novelizations, as the TV series was based on the books) if I happen to see them cheap, but will not seek them out. ( )
  Vivl | Apr 10, 2013 |

One of the best; Lovejoy's obsession with antiques and his particular code of personal loyalty lead him to a dramatic and waterlogged showdown, with cosmic vengeance delivered by a bereaved donkey because the state's forces of law and order are too corrupt and compromised to do it. I think I'd recommend this one to people wondering if the Lovejoy novels are their kind of thing. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 14, 2012 |
I find it hard to believe that this is the first Lovejoy novel that I have read: I came across, and enjoyed, the TV series many moons ago. So, how does the written word compare? firstly, one has to accept that Lovejoy is a somewhat different character to that portrayed by Ian McShane; then, one has to come to terms with some variations in the other characters - Tinker is a smelly tramp! - but, when that falls into place, after some fifty pages, or so, then one finds a cracking little story. Mr. Gash clearly has a talent for creating tension and when Lovejoy finds himself in an old WW II gun emplacement, love nor money would have tempted me to put the book down (if anyone wishes to challenge this statement, please send your cheques, or scantily clad female body's to ....).
If I were to be uncharitable (how unlike me) I would have liked a little more work upon the ending: it did feel just a little like my son's early writing attempts - a whodunnit that suddenly said,"then the cops came and arrested them all. The end." In fact, if memory serves, that was the entire opus.
I shall certainly try a few more of Mr Gash's works. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Mar 27, 2008 |
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For : A story for Susan and Germoline, Erica and Betty, with thanks to Paul for the rock bit. . . . This book is most humbly dedicated to the ancient Chinese 'unpredictable Ghost' god, Wu Ch'ang Kei, in the hope that He will favour this story with His prolonged readership. One glance from that god brings a fortune in treasure.
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This story begins where I did something illegal, had two rows with women, one pub fight, and got a police warning; all before mid-afternoon.
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The trouble begins for Lovejoy when a "small portable Japanese box" is sold at an auction under Lovejoy's nose. He wants that box - a genuine antique firefly cage - but someone else wants it even more. Because it might be the first clue to a secret worth murdering for. Unfortunately, the victim battered to death on the Essex marshes was a friend of Lovejoy's..and it becomes a matter of personal vengeance. The donkey, Germoline, feels the need for vengeance as well, even as Lovejoy is softening to assist the killer after his own rescue from the sea .
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CRIME & MYSTERY. I don't like to pack too much into an ordinary day and this one had already been pretty eventful - two arguments with women, a fight in a pub, a warning from the Old Bill and a fiasco at auction that lost me an exquisite antique Japanese firefly cage. The trouble was, somebody wanted that little gem even more than I did. It was the key that would unlock a secret they'd to anything to keep under wraps, even murder. If only they could only have gone about their dirty deeds without involving me or my friends, they might have got away with it all, but when the master craftsman bravely trying to teach me the art of gadrooning fell foul of them and paid for it with his life, they had me to deal with...… (more)

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