Scandalous

Rated 4.50/5 based on 3 reviews
Mayhem ensues at a Victorian English party when the belle of the ball seduces a womanizing baron and pushes him to commit the most scandalous of actions. More
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Price: Free! USD

Words: 15,580
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476420097
About James Carter

Born in London and educated at Oxford, James Carter spends his life pursuing challenges. By the age of 25 he had driven from Cape Town to Cairo in a dune buggy, and sailed across the Pacific in a yacht crewed by himself and his best friend.

James currently lives in India where he teaches English and courts controversy by staging school plays that call for the empowerment of women and children. He is an active critic of India’s caste system and works with numerous shelters in Delhi that support victims of domestic violence.

He can be contacted at olympusworld@gmail.com

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Leanne Glover on Aug. 19, 2012 :
Scandalous begins in eager anticipation of a party at Hampton Court Palace. Each character prepares with a different goal in mind. Belinda, beautiful, vain, and attended by fairies, vows she will not eat until she has found a husband. Lascivious Baron Charles also plans for conquest. Society matrons hope for scandal and ruin to add variety to the dull affair. The event progresses without incident until Belinda scorns the Baron and defeats him in a heroic game of cards. The Baron revenges himself by cutting a lock of Belinda’s well-maintained hair. Goaded by the interference of an evil fairy, Belinda rails against the Baron and destroys her reputation. The story closes as several characters agree to pay a poet to memorialize the day’s events.

Inspired by Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock,” Scandalous is a unique combination of Shakespeare and Springer, poetry and prose. While the characters are highborn, beautiful, and wealthy, base deeds are not beyond them. The contrast is heightened by Carter’s use of prose for descriptions and poetry for conversations. Like “The Rape of the Lock,” the satirical novella pokes fun at the social conventions 18th century high society but does so in a deliciously risqué way.
(review of free book)

Review by: Celina Cuadro on July 30, 2012 : (no rating)
James Carter pays tribute to Alexander Pope in Scandalous, an updated take on the poet's "Rape of the Lock". Fantabulously ravishing English beauty Belinda prepared to attend a tea party at Hampton's Court. She expected to look perfect, break hearts, and yet find the perfect match of gentleman and money who would sweep her away in supposed love and an even better quality life than she already enjoyed. The army of sylphs who love and guard her beauty and honor worked hard to achieve the first of those expectations, but their leader Ariel warned the belle in a prophetic dream of the dangers to her honor as she engaged her many male admirers. The beauty should have heeded these vague warnings more, for in the party a lecherous baron named Charles emerged as her nemesis, and performed upon her an act that led to her fall from grace. Of the other guests in the party who were treated to the intrigue these events had spawned, three conspired to contact a 'poet of flowery word' named Pope (!) and commission a piece that immortalized the scandal to print.

A happy accident of inadvertently not knowing what I was reading for the first few pages of Scandalous pointed out the author's well-crafted humor early on. When I opened my ebook copy, I was taken straight to Chapter One without seeing title or description. I started reading, and got as far as Belinda getting dressed for the party before the feeling of hearing a long-winded joke with the punch line so close yet just out of reach made me exclaim, "what the @#$&* is this?!?" at which point I back-tracked through the emails and first pages to see what it was I had gotten myself into. Don't get me wrong - even in my befuddled state, what I had read so far was hilarious! After my quick scan of the title and the email giving an overview of the book, I went back to what I had read so far, and it got even funnier at the second pass - James Carter was spinning a yarn witty enough that my bumbling around did not detract from the humor of the piece.

Keeping the language more modern than what existed during Alexander Pope's time even made the satire more tongue-in-cheek, and slathered on some sarcasm to boot. References to Belinda as 'England's Rose' or 'the Chiswick Damsel' was consistent enough if a little plainer that what Pope had spun for her to affect epic poem proportions, but the more modern reference 'blond angel' gained humor simply by attaching it to the uptight English society of the period. By the time the author regularly whipped out honorifics like 'creme brulee', 'pink meringue', 'powder puff', and 'blond crumpet', I had a giggle and guffaw handy for every new title conceived.

What added to the entertainment however was the addition of new characters in the tableau. While staying consistent with the damsel, the villain, the sylphs and gnomes that Pope utilized to mimic epic poetry, James Carter added the wonderful trio of Cuthbert "Bertie" Sommers, Elizabeth "Betty" Winstone, and the Lady Victoria "Vicky" Cheltham to act like a hybrid of the witches in Macbeth and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream - they were witnesses to the event who functioned as a bridge to the audience of readers when they set the scandal to print. The character of Lucy Willows was also a modern twist, because the original epic poetry satire would not have a cynic who called out the bald-faced truths with a jaded eye, while her grandmother Sylvia Willows served like a 'wise king' to Lucy's 'wiser fool': Sylvia tells the reader (and Lucy) that such was the society of the day, and to survive it and succeed, one must know it for what it is. All these characters do deviate from the original satire, but for my modern sensibilities I enjoyed James Carter's counterpoint to Alexander Pope's original point. They helped the author's updated piece stay as irreverent yet a little raunchier, which certainly made it an entertaining read. I very much enjoyed Mr. Carter's foray into classic satire, and highly recommend it even to readers who are not familiar with Alexander Pope's original work. As my first haphazard read showed, Scandalous was funny and enjoyable even before I knew what I was reading!
(review of free book)

Review by: sienna bond on July 29, 2012 :
James Carter pays tribute to Alexander Pope in Scandalous, an updated take on the poet's "Rape of the Lock". Fantabulously ravishing English beauty Belinda prepared to attend a tea party at Hampton's Court. She expected to look perfect, break hearts, and yet find the perfect match of gentleman and money who would sweep her away in supposed love and an even better quality life than she already enjoyed. The army of sylphs who love and guard her beauty and honor worked hard to achieve the first of those expectations, but their leader Ariel warned the belle in a prophetic dream of the dangers to her honor as she engaged her many male admirers. The beauty should have heeded these vague warnings more, for in the party a lecherous baron named Charles emerged as her nemesis, and performed upon her an act that led to her fall from grace. Of the other guests in the party who were treated to the intrigue these events had spawned, three conspired to contact a 'poet of flowery word' named Pope and commission a piece that immortalized the scandal to print.

Keeping the language more modern than what existed during Alexander Pope's time even made the satire more tongue-in-cheek, and slathered on some sarcasm to boot. References to Belinda as 'England's Rose' or 'the Chiswick Damsel' was consistent enough if a little plainer that what Pope had spun for her to affect epic poem proportions, but the more modern reference 'blond angel' gained humor simply by attaching it to the uptight English society of the period. By the time the author regularly whipped out honorifics like 'crème brulee', 'pink meringue', 'powder puff', and 'blond crumpet', I had a giggle and guffaw handy for every new title conceived.

What added to the entertainment however was the addition of new characters in the tableau. While staying consistent with the damsel, the villain, the sylphs and gnomes that Pope utilized to mimic epic poetry, James Carter added the wonderful trio of Cuthbert "Bertie" Sommers, Elizabeth "Betty" Winstone, and the Lady Victoria "Vicky" Cheltham to act like a hybrid of the witches in Macbeth and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream - they were witnesses to the event who functioned as a bridge to the audience of readers when they set the scandal to print. The character of Lucy Willows was also a modern twist, because the original epic poetry satire would not have a cynic who called out the baldfaced truths with a jaded eye, while her grandmother Sylvia Willows served like a 'wise king' to Lucy's 'wiser fool': Sylvia tells the reader (and Lucy) that such was the society of the day, and to survive it and succeed, one must know it for what it is. All these characters do deviate from the original satire, but for my modern sensibilities I enjoyed James Carter's counterpoint to Alexander Pope's original point. They helped the author's updated piece stay as irreverent yet a little raunchier, which certainly made it an entertaining read. I very much enjoyed Mr. Carter's foray into classic satire, and highly recommend it even to readers who are not familiar with Alexander Pope's original work.

Posted on behalf of BookIdeas.com, where the original review is documented.
(review of free book)

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