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Laszlo's Millions

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Length: 366 pages5 hours

Summary

Laszlo's Millions is a hilarious, mad picture of London in the 1970's as seen by Tom Bloch, a drug-fuelled spy for the notorious BOSS, Apartheid's evil secret police...who is also likely to inherit several millions from the lover of his dead grandmother Hazel. We learn how she met and fell in love with the priapic Count Laszlo Mindchyck, the Laszlo of the title, only to run away into the mists of war when bullied and tormented by his dreadful offspring. And how, many years later, she drops dead when informed that she is his heir…leaving Tom, her heir, likely to inherit everything. But there are conditions! The book is a weaving of stories, each bursting with life-loving characters, each determined to make Tom's life even more complicated than it is. We visit the parents of Tom’s schizophrenic lover Mona, and discover what made her mad. The journey from Johannesburg and the Apartheid dystopia brings us the character of the Brigadier, who is now in charge of the BOSS spies in London. BOSS – the feared Bureau of State Security, the South African intelligence service, charged with identifying and terminating anti-Apartheid activists. Tom’s employers. Whose headquarters is in the Gents’ toilet at Sloane Square. The novel takes shape eventually with Tom’s dreadful dilemma: should he abandon all his principles, assume a three-piece suit and thus win the inheritance from Laszlo? He has nine months to convince a panel of “Jurors” that he is a fit and responsible person to handle Laszlo’s Millions. Which means selling out, abandoning his best friend Pieter, and heading into history…Zoom. In style, the writing is Tom Sharpe meets Monty Python via Kurt Vonnegut and a dash of Franz Kafka. Hilary Mantel described Elkon’s first novel as ‘fairly waltzing the reader along…the prose is full of energy and humour and beneath the playfulness there is an undertow of pain…’ (Daily Telegraph). This book takes off into territory as delightful, as charming, and far more challenging.

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