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Chagford Revisited


Loved it! 😍

The book lives up admirably to its humour tag, which is extremely high praise for a humour book. In short, the book is really funny

Chagford Revisited is a humorous, charming story about a programmer from the United States named Marker who, after watching first Downton Abbey and then a whole bunch of British costume dramas falls obsessively in love with all things English, and retires early to Chagford in England to live the life of an English squire. He buys an old-timey looking mansion in Chagford – the very same one, in fact, that Evelyn Waugh, the writer of his favourite costume drama, Brideshead Revisited, stayed in. 

He is excited to finally fulfill his dream, but then reality hits, and the difference in value between the British pound and the American dollar causes him to buy the house for far more than he budgeted. This part, told extremely hilariously (kudos to the writer), along with the extensive repair the house needs, force him to spend almost his money.

Being broke, he is forced to accept the offer of the owner of a B&B in Chagford to Americanize the place in order to bring more tourists from America in return for a share of the profits. And so this leads to Marker becoming American again, but this time for pay, and all the slightly crazy adventures it brings to the sleepy town of Chagford.

The major thing I love about Chagford Revisited is that it uses comedy cleverly – sometimes in a very obvious manner and sometimes subtly – to great effect. Two examples. In a passage, this happens:

‘"You're having dinner. I've interrupted a date. I'm so sorry!" He stood so rapidly his chair fell over. The waiter tripped over it, sending a tray of food flying all over the guests in the next table.’

This bit of slapstick humour is so well timed and its delivery is so precise that I immediately burst into a fit of chuckles.

The other example is subtle humour. Someone said to another person "You are a general in the Army of Amour," which is just so clever on so many levels. This is in fact, one of the highest quality humour in the book.

It is not often that I see a book with a Humour tag that is actually humorous.

Another thing I like about the book is how smoothly everything goes for anyone. No one is in any real emotional straits or has an danger threatening, and this mostly works in that it enables you to fully concentrate and enjoy the humour in the book. The book is humour, and that is exactly what it is. No philosophical musings thrown in. No series of unfortunate events. No scenes that yank at your emotions every which way. And that is a strength in my opinion.

Third, I really enjoyed the way Marker seems to go through the story always slightly confused by something or someone, and yet gets such massive success in whatever he does, and seems to be slightly agitated by everything. There is something that is so relatable about him, and it is very heartwarming to see him still end up happy, because to me, Marker is all of us in some way. Just trundling about half a step behind in things and flummoxed by our successes, but ultimately chasing after more.

The only thing that bothered me about the book is that towards the end, it seemed to just ramble on and on, as if the author had a word count quota to feel and had a checklist of boxes he had not ticked. Get engaged, check. Overbearing future father-in-law, check… that sort of thing.

Otherwise, I’d say the book lives up to its humour tag admirably. Bravo to the author.

Reviewed by

Hello. My name is Precious Oluwatobi Emmanuel.

I am 21 years old, and passionate about books generally and fiction in particular.

I enjoy reading. I write too, and I like dark rooms. They're so peaceful. And dark. And peaceful.

I live in Kano, Nigeria with my mom and siblings

About the author

Chuck Etheridge was as an actor, a convenience store clerk, a rent a poet, and a catalog copywriter before disappointing his parents and becoming a writer. His novels include Border Canto and The Desert After Rain, and his comic novel Chagford Revisited was just published in the UK. view profile

Published on January 19, 2021

Published by Blossom Spring Publishing

40000 words

Genre: Humor & Comedy

Reviewed by