Chen gave me three Sharpe books for my birthday; i think i had previously lent her one to read, so evidently she enjoyed it enough to think more would be worth it. And, of course, they are. I have read this one previously, though i don’t remember when it was, as there have been three or four times in my life i have read several of his books, as i’ve been able to find them, in fairly quick succession (Loretto, where i first came across him, Rome, borrowing from the FAO library [i remember reading one or two at Nugola Vecchia], perhaps in Corning, found at the Big Flats library, and in Aberystwyth); i’m glad, however, to have had the opportunity to read it again. Not to mention that i’ve got at least two more on my shelves to get to sometime. The man is funny. His touch fades occasionally, i recall, but not this time. I laughed out loud at several points through the book, at the sheer absurdity of what was happening, and at the delightful prospect of what must be going to happen. None of it is possible (you hope), yet all of it appears to be within the bounds, so it can be imagined as a possibility. This is surely fine farce.