The Walpole orange
(Frank Muir, 1993)

I thoroughly enjoyed this amusing tale of what the Walpole Club decided to do for its 250th birthday: the polite young Club Secretary, William, is instructed to organize an orgy. But in order to confuse spies from the press, it's to be referred to always as an orange.

The characters are well drawn and likeable, the plot is well constructed, the writing is fluent and amusing. Will the elderly gentlemen of the club get their orgy in the end? What, exactly, is an orgy? Read and find out.

It does have the air of a book written several decades earlier than 1993. Partly because it's about an old-fashioned gentleman's club and the sort of people who belong to it, and partly I suppose because Frank Muir was born in 1920. However, this is not really a criticism. If you pretend that it was really written in 1963, it seems quite fresh and lively, and it includes a number of youngish characters.

Although I really liked it on first reading, I give it only two stars because I don't expect to reread it often.

Written in July 2007