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Softcover; 5.5″ × 8.5″, 502 pages
I entertained a man-of-town at the mansion over the week-end. He was a rather shabby sort, a fellow one might see rooting about the waste-bins on Avenue T, that part of the wharf where the crab-smashers raise their mighty mallets and bring them down on crustaceans with nary a care for who’s walking besides or who might be gifted with the (rather prodigious) by-splatter of oils and shell-bits and general meaty leavings that cling to every nearby surface in a quite inextricable manner.Victorian adventure -- an era full of top-hatted intrigue, dirigibles galore, all-too-demure sensuality and completely unironic classism. Altogether too normal. Now there's an antidote: Dispatches from Wondermark Manor, a rollicking, absurd, completely ridiculous humor novel from the author of the celebrated comic strip "Wondermark." Taking the tropes of Conan Doyle-style adventure fiction and ramping them way over the top, this tale brings together:
My guest, a certain Mr. N_____, tried to keep his left side angled away from me throughout the evening, afraid, perhaps, that the tell-tale crabbings that stained his trousers would reveal him as a member of the loathsome cobblestone set, the type too proud to ask for proper crab-scraps from the smashers (a generally amenable class) yet too poor to buy even an eighth-ounce of rat-juice from the bellman’s cart with the streamers, where the rats from the previous night’s trappings are pressed and juiced with great fanfare at sunrise, the breeze plucking at the gay streamers and lofting the bellman’s ancient shanty from rooftop to rooftop in a great, old hallmark of morning…