So, the first of the “Adventures of Nick & Carter” books is here – and, you know, it kind of feels like the books that preceded it. Which, honestly, is a relief. It seems to be more of a re-branding on the author’s part, because “mysteries” wasn’t really quite what was going on, once that remarkable series began to evolve.
Interestingly, this around-the-world adventure has as much mystery as the previous series offered Frank’s many readers, but it’s more political intrigue here. We go from Chile to Brazil to France to England…in the aftermath of Nick and Carter realizing that “there’s no place like home,” and that home is the big pile of rocks on Nob Hill. Plus, there is my favorite part of all of these books: the exploration of the deeper recesses of both Nick’s and Carter’s psyches. Our boys are in their late 40s (47 and 49 now) and it’s early 1970 (the year I turned 15 and went to the UK with my 50-year-old father so that I could tour English stately homes). They have been rich globetrotters (jet-setters, but for the fact that they are on the margins of the Jet Set socially, by choice) for fifteen years now. Carter speaks French and only uses the Georgia farmboy act when it suits him. Nick is at peace with himself, and knows who he is. They are, in this crazy fictional America that Frank Butterfield has made to feel like reality, truly among the most famous people on earth. Being rich and gay makes them both heroic and hated – and that truth surfaces in the most confusing and complicated way in the course of this strange story.
As always, Frank educates himself as he unrolls his plot arcs, and ends up being our teacher as well. Tolstoy and Joyce might have been greater literary artists, but neither of them taught us any more about the convolutions of human nature than Mr. Butterfield.
This book, by the way, was worth it for one scene that takes place in London at the end of the book.
- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Independently Published (20 November 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1709391243
- ISBN-13: 978-1709391248
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 467 g
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