Gibbons, Stella (Important Books, reprint July 2013, ISBN 978-8087830628)
For some reason anything written in the era of the Jazz age kind of reads like a light hearted romp that could have been written in the 1980s. I suspect both eras were famously of unfettered youth getting their stockings off and dancing until dawn. Both eras had a bright, vibrant, selfish youth culture – when there was a lot, then suddenly, no, money around. Their books tend to be a bit similar, though there are more hard drugs in books from the 80s.
I was at both primary and high school in the 1980s and thus the only vaguely adult thing I did was drink a small bottle West Coast cooler at a birthday party. It made me feel roguish and all grown-up while the soles of my mesh shoes melted, pointed at the bonfire.
Which is an excellent segue into a review of Cold Comfort Farm. I rather think that Flora Poste, the heroine of the story, would be happy to melt her mesh shoes while skulling a bottle of West Coast cooler as long as the party was full of slightly peculiar or menacing characters she could manipulate.
This book is a romp from the beginning to the end. It’s pure, clever, enjoyable, fantastic, silliness. It takes it to the correct conclusions in every way possible and you will suddenly understand the meaning of “I saw something nasty in the woodshed”, which is a phrase I’d heard before a number of times without context.
Some books from this era are total pants – but others deserve to be classics and remain in print till time ends (think Jeeves and Wooster, anything by Somerset Maugham). Totally recommend you get yourself a copy, if you read it on public transport you WILL giggle and get weird looks, though.