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1: The Affected Provincial's Companion, Vol. I Hardcover – August 8, 2006
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“Written in something approximating the McSweeney's style, this collection of essays, charts, and assorted silliness is deeply amusing.” ―USA Today
“[Lord Whimsy] is a splendid raconteur and a canny quillsman…we are confident that you will find this dandy's manicured musings a bracing tonic against the enervating drudgery of the modern world.” ―Yahoo.com
About the Author
Whimsy (as he is often called) is much more than a mere pen name, for he walks among us as a living embodiment of charm. He has earned a loyal following through his published articles, readings and public appearances, and has packed cafes, bookstores, and universities with his "You Lack My Refinement" tour, illuminating the Former Colonies with the Light of Whimsy. When not defending the Flower of Civilization against bruised petals, he lives the life of a country squire in the leafy, rural hamlet of New Egypt, New Jersey. Rest assured, gentle reader: Whimsy loves you all.
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Although I found The Affected Provincial's Companion hidden away in the "Humor" section of the book store, it surely should be re-filed under "Self-Help." For where else can one find vital advice like, "Cultivate an air of uselessness, for doing so makes others marvel that you even exist"?
Though elegant in all ways, Whimsy is by no means an elitist. His aim is to help males of the slouch era graduate from Guys to Men and from Metrosexuals to Dandies. With fanciful diagrams of detachable collars, lapel decorations and cufflinks as well as advice on how to attire oneself properly on a low budget, what on first glance appears to be snobbery is actually a do-it-yourself call to arms against The Mundane!
Although Part I (essays on sartorial pleasures, dandyism vs. bohemianism, and "Naughty Rimes") is clearly the crowd pleaser, Whimsy's Parts II and III offer philosophical musings on bog fauna, Lucy the Elephant, and inhabiting the trunks of enormous African trees. Whimsy is no empty bon vivant, no idle fop--for he hangs Enlightenment-style metaphysics in the wardrobe of his mind.
"The Affected Provincial's Companion" is perhaps one of the greatest works of the 21st century thus far. In the aesthetically pleasing, plant-like future that hopefully awaits us, Whimsy's work will be considered a classic. Read it and allow its delight to fill your life!
When first opening the volume it is imperative to remain alert, to not be so overcome by the colorful revelation of the endpapers that one slips and separates skin from muscle and muscle from bone upon the die-cut recesses of the exquisitely designed front cover. Or, perhaps that is what the gilded canals are for and aren't we clever for sussing it out, dear reader. Some form of Mayan magic may in fact underlay the hypnotism affected by this book's intriguing design motifs. In the absence of an admission of guilt -- and on this point Whimsy is quite tight-lipped -- suppose we shall have to continue speculating, harmlessly. (Perhaps this is another example of the civilizing effect Whimsy's writings have had on me.)
As each article is digested, it is recommended that an ounce of lactose-free milk (to derive from the mammal of the reader's choice; or perhaps even the noble soy bean) be ingested -- slowly -- so as to provide carriage for the verbiage that might otherwise become lodged in the throat. This may be chased with one cup of bergamot-infused tea and readings from the author's website.
When the reader is nearing the end of the book, a handwritten note, which the reader may have previously inserted into the final pages (if he or she were thinking clearly after reading the first few lines of the first page, that is), will remind the reader that, yes, this is only the first volume in a projected series and that no, the heart need not be siezed into a state of biblio intertio by the body's looming heart-related authorities -- that is to say, literary cardiac arrest. My brotherly advice to the tender-hearted is to simply return to the book's initial verses and begin to read through it again. It may be found that repeated study actually reduces the ailments typically suffered as the body degenerates into old age. Yes, Whimsy's wisdom may silently work changes in your body that do not become apparent for many decades hence!
However, let us be simple, for the sake of those readers who may not be swayed by the awesome magnitude of humble truth: For the adventurous, this slim volume will bring a knowing grin. For the delusional, possible salvation. Give our man Whimsy the benefit of your attention. Do your duty as a citizen of the world. Acquire and internalize this book today!