All the Tea in China : Which Tells How Carolus Mortdecai Van Cleef Set Out to Seek His Fortune in London Town; On the High Seas, in India, th
Overview - Inspired by a shotgun blast in the seat of his breeches, young Karli Van Cleef quits his native Holland to seek his fortune. He arrives in early Victorian London and soon he is turning a pretty profit. But Karli sees that true opportunity flowers in India's fields of opium poppies and the treaty ports of the China coast. Read more...
More About All the Tea in China by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Inspired by a shotgun blast in the seat of his breeches, young Karli Van Cleef quits his native Holland to seek his fortune. He arrives in early Victorian London and soon he is turning a pretty profit. But Karli sees that true opportunity flowers in India's fields of opium poppies and the treaty ports of the China coast. So he takes a berth in an opium clipper hell-bent for the Indies. It is a journey beset with perils. Karli is confronted by the mountainous seas, high-piled plates of curry, and the ferocious penalties of the Articles of War. He survives the malice of the Boers, the hospitality of anthropophagi, and the horrors of Lancashire cooking. En route he acquires some interesting diseases, dangerous friends and enemies, a fortune, and a wife almost as good as new.
- ISBN-13: 9781590200728
- ISBN-10: 1590200721
- Publisher: Overlook Press
- Publish Date: July 2008
- Page Count: 258
Books > Fiction > Humorous - General
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Bonfiglioli (1928–1985), author of the offbeat Mortdecai trilogy, offers a surfeit of delights in this historical romp, first published in 1978. The novel opens with Karli Van Cleef, a young Dutch Jew of prodigious alimentary and sexual appetites, fleeing the consequences of his unscrupulous romantic life. Karli lands in mid–19th-century London with nothing but his wits and a chest of his mother's fine china, and makes an immediate and considerable success as a porcelain dealer. Lured by the promises of adventure and rich profit offered by the opium trade, however, he quickly closes shop to go east. From here, there are swordfights and treasure, pirates and mutineers, a typhoon, and prostitutes in every port. But if the plot is easily anticipated, Bonfiglioli colors his picaresque with an abundance of wit and narrative verve. Indeed, the novel often reads like an unapologetically bawdy Pirates of the Caribbean. (Aug.)