I picked up this book from a local bookshop after having seen the movie years ago. I’m glad I did.
On the positive side, the book is a great snapshot of life in the early 1900s. It’s filled with timely references to just how people spend their money and what a life of ease was like. It does require a few trips to the dictionary so be prepared for that. The story is easily readable in a long afternoon and keeps things quite entertaining. It also boasts a fun twist and the end and has a moral point to make about money and our relationship to it. It’s a merry romp.
To the negative, the middle third of the book does tend to drag a bit. Not terribly but enough that I did get a bit distracted. I powered through though and once the book gets going downhill again in the last third it’s easy going again. Also, while the book is entertaining at it does seem rather implausible at various points. It does little to distract from the entertainment but it does make one go ‘Hmm…’ quietly to oneself
In summary, this is a nice little piece of history very similar to “Life with Father” or other light-hearted novels of the time. An easy read that the kids might even safely enjoy if they’re sufficiently inclined to such things.
Story: I had no idea this was a book! My knowledge of it was limited entirely to the movie starring Richard Pryor. For those of you who have seen the movie, the basic plot is pretty much the same, however, pretty much everything else is pretty different. This probably comes as little surprise, if you know that the novel was published in 1902.
Brewster receives an inheritance of 1 million dollars and is, unsurprisingly, incredibly excited. Then, soon after, he learns that he is eligible for a second, much larger, inheritance, but only if, within one year, he can spend the prior inheritance. If he fails, he will not get the money, and will have to survive on what remains of the million. Of course, he tries to win big.
As you may have guessed based on the synopsis, or the film, this a is a light-hearted humorous book. I found most of it to be pretty funny, and really enjoyed the story. Of course, the funniest part is how difficult it was for Brewster to get rid of one million dollars. He should learn from today's celebrities, many of whom have managed to dispose of hundreds of millions. Rich people make me mad sometimes.
Performance: I am now entirely certain that Pinchot is a very talented narrator. I've listened to three audiobooks that he's done, and in every single one he has sounded like a different person. Although I hated the first one I listened to, I've really enjoyed the others. Here, especially, he did a great job of fitting his voice and pacing to that of the character. His narration is blithe and conveys the humor of the situation.
This is quite an excellent audiobook, and just the right length for a decent road trip!