Jewish World Review Jan. 29, 2001 / 6 Shevat, 5761
The Old Limey
I WANT to take a brief respite from political commentary to tell you about a brand new novel. "The Old Limey" is H.W. (Harry) Crocker IIIís first stab at fiction, but you would never suspect it from reading it.
At the outset I must issue a disclaimer: I have just completed my book, to be published in March, and Harry was my editor. But he didnít ask me to plug his book. In fact, he didnít even tell me about it. And though I have yet to negotiate a kickback for plugging it, I am going to plow ahead anyway.
This is a great book, an absolute gut-buster. Whether or not you were required in humanities or some other high school or college course to read "Don Quixote" you can treat yourself to the same kind of humor with "The Old Limey."
The bookís lead character, General Nigel Haversham, is a retired British soldier who leaves England for Los Angeles on a mission to rescue his goddaughter, who, presumably, has been kidnapped by her drug-dealing scoundrel of a boyfriend, Sean Stalker.
Unlike Don Quixote, Nigel has no Sancho Panza as a trusted sidekick, but he quickly remedies that. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, he acquires two beautiful beach babes as his American guides and all-around assistants. Nigel has an irresistible charm that he misinterprets as sex appeal, but his Don Juan illusions are harmless. Heís not really interested in hanky panky, anyway. Heís on a mission, and he will only use his magnetism if necessary to ensure their commitment to his cause.
Nigel is nothing if not the poster boy for political incorrectness. His interaction with his two Valley-girl deputies produces a hilarious clash of cultures, of which Nigel is acutely aware (and sometimes annoyed), and the girls are mostly oblivious. But I donít mean to imply that Nigel is without his fantasies. In fact, probably the most amusing feature of the book is Nigelís constant daydreaming, sometimes conscious, sometimes not.
In virtually every conversation in which he engages, there is the outward dialogue and Nigelís simultaneous inner thoughts (many of which involve his previous military campaigns in the wilds of Africa, etc.), which rarely bear any resemblance to the words he conveys. These nonstop cerebral tidbits had me laughing so hard in a public place that the proprietor demanded to know what I was reading and a free copy for himself. Well, yes, I know the author, I bragged, but itís not like heís going to ship me free books for my friends.
Nigel is a bit like the Pink Pantherís Inspector Clouseau. Despite his perpetual screw-ups, he always lands on his feet. No matter what advantages he may have -- from superior armament to the element of surprise -- he invariably manages to bungle things and forfeit his edge. Yet he still manages to prevail in the end. Often this is due to the even greater ineptitude of his adversaries, but sometimes Nigel wins by the sheer virtuousness of his assignment. Itís a good over evil thing, further skewering the pieties of political correctness.
Speaking of political correctness, we conservatives (and we know who we are) are constantly bellyaching about our lack of progress in the ongoing war for our culture. Commentators, such as myself, decry rampant societal decadence. Although such commentary is essential (for my career as a writer), it occurs to me that a more effective way actually to change the culture for the better is for our side to begin producing more ďcultureĒ itself. Harry Crocker has done just that, and is therefore deserving of high commendation.
The book is power packed with adventure, and the storyline itself will keep you riveted until the end. But I must confess that my favorite aspect is the irresistible General Nigel Haversham, who is the funniest character Iíve encountered in a modern novel. (As an added bonus, Nigel, despite all his pride and outward stoicism, fools us with a splash of compassionate conservatism toward the end of the story, making the book even timelier than the author may have otherwise anticipated.)
Beyond telling you about this great book, my other motive is to publicly pressure the author for a sequel. I can envision endless adventures for the irrepressible and ageless Nigel
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01/25/01: Clintonís disgraceful departure
01/22/01: Ashcroft: Principle above self
01/17/01: Justice for Riady?
01/15/01: Ashcroft: A hill to die on
01/10/01: Returning to the supply side
01/08/01: Reasons for optimism
01/03/01: Bush's daunting challenges
12/28/00: Ashcroft: A triumph for the rule of law
12/26/00: A tinge of revenge?
12/20/00: GOP: Breaking the race barrier
12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?
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