A Bullet in the Ballet

A Bullet in the Ballet Author Caryl Brahms S J Simon is a Kindle Cary

A Bullet in the Ballet Author Caryl Brahms S.J., Simon is a Kindle Caryl Brahms, born Doris Caroline Abrahams was an English critic, novelist, and journalist specialising in the theatre and ballet She also wrote film, radio and television scripts.. Author Caryl Brahms was a major ballet critic before writing this satirical novel Contains blurbs from half the British theatrical establishment, from Gielgud to Lloyd Webber.. The best Kindle A Bullet in the Ballet Synopsis: Murder runs rampant among the members of the Stroganoff ballet company. It seems that the title role in the ballet Petroushka is an unlucky one. When the dancer Palook is shot just at the moment of the character's death, Inspector Adam Quill is called in to discover who might have wanted the dancer dead. Just when he settles on fellow dancer Pavel (who just happens to move into the vacant starring role) as his culprit, someone eliminates the newest Petroushka before he even gets to make his entrance. Is it possible that someone hated both dancers? Or does someone have a real dislike for the ballet itself and hopes to cancel the show? Quill hunts among the dressing rooms for clues and interviews all and sundry in the company....but it will take one more performance of the ill-fated ballet before the case will be solved According to the blurbs in the International Polygonics edition of A Bullet in the Ballet by Caryl Brahms and S. J. Simon, everyone from Sir John Gielgud to Sir Alec Guinness to Andrew Lloyd Weber thought this book was the wittiest, funniest book ever--or at least when the edition was published in 1984. Ned Sherrin who wrote the introduction says, "There have been three great English comic novelists of high style in this century--Waugh, Firbank, and the combination of Brahms and Simon." Well...okay. Maybe one has to be a little more conversant with the ways of the ballet world or have knowledge of the ballets which are mentioned or something....because this one did not find this book to be all that hysterical or witty. Mildly amusing at times--yes. But great high comedy? Not so much. It is full stereotypical prima donnas, stereotypical Russian ballerinas, a stereotypical ballet company owner, and a stereotypically dense policeman (who wouldn't recognize the murderer if s/he had a giant "M" painted on their forehead--and s/he might as well). There is all the little jealousies and love affairs and preening and temper tantrums that one would expect backstage in any of the arts--overplayed and larger-than-life. The mystery (as hinted in reference to the dense policeman) isn't particularly mysterious. I spotted the murderer in one of the earliest appearances--Quill isn't quite so quick.The most interesting character is Stroganoff, the company's owner. His single-minded "the show must go on" attitude in the face of his rapidly diminishing stock of lead dancers is the most amusing part of the whole book. He simply can't understand why the police are so upset that he had Palook's body whisked off-stage while the grand finale continued virtually uninterrupted. The audience never suspects that the star is really dead--and, in fact, a few critics remark that the death of Petroushka was rather unconvincing. It is on Stroganoff's behalf that I am assigning two and a half stars to A Bullet in the Ballet.This was first posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.

About Author

  1. Caryl Brahms, born Doris Caroline Abrahams was an English critic, novelist, and journalist specialising in the theatre and ballet She also wrote film, radio and television scripts.

    Reply

A Bullet in the Ballet Comment

  1. Synopsis Murder runs rampant among the members of the Stroganoff ballet company It seems that the title role in the ballet Petroushka is an unlucky one When the dancer Palook is shot just at the moment of the character s death, Inspector Adam Quill is called in to discover who might have wanted the dancer dead Just when he settles on fellow dancer Pavel who just happens to move into the vacant starring role as his culprit, someone eliminates the newest Petroushka before he even gets to make his [...]


  2. I first read Bullet in the Ballet as a teenager and then again several times as an adult I haven t read it now for many years Re reading it, I found it had lost none of its comic zest This book is a classic Written in the 1930s, it is still riotously funny today, with its cast of loveably self obsessessed Russian dancers and their mammas, not forgetting Nicholas Navajno, choreographer of the future and his ever hopeful refrain you schange me small scheque and the impressario of the company Vladi [...]


  3. A murder in the ballet draws new detective inspector Quill to the case The show must go oneven if it means destroying clues, moving the body, backstabbing each other, and lying just to attract attentionMapcap I didn t care for this because it was jerkily written, easy to lose track of this or that, or even of one s place in the paragraph But it did prove to have me completely fooled after I was sure what had gone down and what red herrings had been laid in my path.


  4. A 1937 humorous whodunnit by the established team of Caryl Brahms Evening Standard ballet critic and S J Simon bridge international and Observer columnist More life, wit, good writing in 170 pages than in most modern equivalents With a detective named Insp Quill, an impresario named Stroganov, and the death of the lead doll in the ballet Petrushka at the moment he dies in the ballet unusual because he normally dies two beats late.It starts Since it is probable that any book flying a bullet in it [...]


  5. I first read this book when I was about sixteen, when I was in my balletomane period I loved it then and I love it now I got an old dog eared copy from and it took me right back I missed it Lesson don t lend books you really like


  6. For the second time I have been taken in by International Polygonics The back cover suggests that Brahms and Simon share space in the pantheon with Waugh and Firbank, but really they are comparable to lesser Wodehouse The plot is underdeveloped, and the ending is just as telegraphed as it seems to be The simplicity of the mystery makes the inspector seem laughably inept By halfway through, Brahms and Simon have provided every clue short of a flashing neon arrow pointed at the murderer, and stil [...]



  7. Anton Palook is shot dead on stage, at the end of his performance in the ballet Petroushka, the audience is unaware and the ballet continues When Inspector Gill arrives all the evidence has been moved and he is faced with a company of almost excessively eccentric characters most of whom were, or could have been, in a position to fire the shot Gill s investigations aided by the ballet s routinely insulted dogsbody Stanley uncover many motives and then the weapon Everything points to Pavel as the [...]


  8. By the book Scotland Yard detective Adam Quill may be an educated policeman, but he s out of his death when Anton Palook dies at the culmination of a performance of Petroushka None of his fellow dancers, nor the others involved in the ballet, seem to care, and all incriminate themselves and their friends with careless abandon Just as Quill is about to make an arrest, a second murder leaves his theories in shambles But someone killed Palook


  9. A delightful romp takes place backstage of a Russian ballet company in the nineteen thirties, featuring over the top characters and Brit silliness Some ballet knowledge is helpful, but not necessary The author inserts the plots and stage action of the relevant ballets into the narrative of the story The climax is rather anti, but the mystery is neatly resolved.


  10. I read this in the Library at school along with the other Brahms and Simons books and Puckoon instead of working at my studies I can t say that I was wrong I found it funny then and still did after re reading a couple of years ago The plot, such as it is, is really a cloak for the wit and humour of both writers.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *