This book can be seen as a prime example for Bangsian fantasy -a genre, which concerns the use of famous literary or historical individuals in plots and their interactions set partially or wholly in the afterlife - and the rich and intelligent comedy that permeates the narration will leave the reader chucking with pleasure. The book begins by introducing the reader to the arrival of a spanking new houseboat on the Styx, the river that separates Earth and the Underworld. Charon who is the usual ferryman of the Styx is appointed as the new janitor for this houseboat by 'Associated Shades' - one of the swankiest organizations in the Hades made up of every famous historical and mythical figures who has ever died and gone to Styx - and the houseboat is made into a permanent clubhouse for its members. The club has such luminaries from history like Sir Walter Raleigh, Cassius, Demosthenes, Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Confucius, William Shakespeare and even Baron Munchausen as it's members. And from this setting of a houseboat club thriving with ghosts of historical figures, John Kendrick Bangs creates 11 hilarious short stories, which will remind one of the Drones club and Angler's Rest stories from P.G. Wodehouse. The stories don't have any central theme and relies heavily on dialog-based humor than situational one's as in each chapter the author pits some of the heavyweights of human history in to laughter evoking verbal jostling as they discuss various topics. The verbal comedy, which Bangs generates while bringing historical figures into hypothetical conversations where they take a dig at each other, is seriously of first-class quality and will leave the reader laughing out loud. Members of the clubhouse often making jokes about Shakespeare's works being ghostwritten by other authors and Baron Munchausen entertaining the club members with his incredible tall tales are two recurring and amusing scenarios with in these stories. The last short story of the book describes the mysterious disappearance of the clubhouse on the houseboat, which sets the stage ready for the sequel 'Pursuit of the House-Boat'. When originally published in 1895, 'House-Boat on the Styx' was immensely popular and was among the bestsellers in 1896. The book was followed by 2 sequels 'The Pursuit of the House-Boat' and 'The Enchanted Type-Writer' - with both of them being bestsellers - and I look forward eagerly to read them both. Like other works from John Kendrick Bangs, 'House-Boat on the Styx' is loaded full of rich and insightful sharp wit. A classic made out of a perfect potpourri of fantasy, brilliant satire, shades of philosophy and Greek mythology, which makes perfect material for immensely enjoyable lighthearted reading. An interesting trivia about this book: Alan Moore fans will recognize this houseboat from John Kendrick Bangs, as it is the same one, which Moore presents in his graphic novel Promethea.
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Excerpt from A House-Boat on the Styx: Being Some an of the Divers the Associated Shades A House-Boat on the Styx: Being Some Account of the Divers Doings of the Associated Shades was written by John Kendrick Bangs in 1895. This is a 191 page book, containing 29820 words and 9 pictures. Search Inside is enabled for this title. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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