The Monks of Appalling Dreadfulness. If by ‘appalling,’ you mean ‘hysterical.’

Read February 2023
Recommended for fans footnotes, The Gates, dry humor
★    ★   ★   ★   1/2

Appalling amounts of fun. I giggled most of the way through it, and despite the brevity, it would have been five stars if not for the appallingly brief conclusion and the visually appalling Gothic script used to denote the monks’ speech. Originally a short story included in a three-volume set of the Samuel Johnson novels, it is now available as an independent story. The monks are a trio of assassins, which should seem kind of dreadful except some of the people they have their sights on seem to deserve it.

Sir Magnific the Outstanding traveled the land with his squire, Orlic the Resigned, rescuing maidens, righting wrongs, and generally making a nuisance of himself, since not all maidens want to be rescued and wrongness is often simply a matter of opinion³

It makes the most sense if you’ve read at least one of the Samuel Johnson stories. Partway through, our old friends Nurd, Wormwood and Crudford appear (I think Crudford might have shown up in the last book). Samuel’s appearance is actually quite brief, but the Boy Band is back together, and I believe I laughed out loud:

By the second song, Row C had already formed an escape committee and begun work on a tunnel, and a man in Row E had withdrawn to his happy place, never to return.

The humor itself tends to be the sort of humor found in The Life of Brian or cultural references that old people might recognize (“It’s not a hat. It’s a beret”), for what its worth.

At any rate, if you like the Samuel Johnson series, most reviews suggest you’ll like this little piece, particularly if you enjoy footnotes and have a dry sense of humor. I found it delightful and much too short.


³You, for example, may like Brussels sprouts. I think you’re wrong. I also think they’ve made you smell a bit funny and other people are just too polite to mention it. But I’m not about to wallop you with a mace until you agree to come around to may way of thinking and concede that the whole Brussels sprouts business is a big mistake on your part. That would be grossly unfair.


About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
This entry was posted in Book reviews, fantasy, Urban fantasy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Monks of Appalling Dreadfulness. If by ‘appalling,’ you mean ‘hysterical.’

  1. Melora says:

    Oh my. This is clearly one I Need!

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