The Double Four conspiracy up against the Triple Three. Wondering who'll win?
2 x 4 = 8, while 3 x 3 = 9. Simple, eh?
What a horrid piece of melodramatic bilge this book is!
I read at least one of Oppenheim's books years backóGeneral Besserley's Puzzle Box, which had no merit to speak of. Recently, however, I picked up Jeanne of the Marshes, and despite a few quibbles, enjoyed it, so I set myself to read more.
Oppenheim has a few unfortunate eccentricities that show up in almost all his works. Very much middle-class himself, he is fascinated by the aristocracy, his characters all too often are Lady This, Sir That and Duke Whatsisname, while the ordinary folks are mere props, introduced only to bring in the "tea equipage" or help with the main character's "toilette" as he changes from morning to afternoon or evening wear.
The life portrayed is often vastly epicurean, nothing but wine and brandy are drunk, the women are all slim and beautiful, the men (no matter how often they faint) not only handsome and perfectly clothed but athletic.
Berenice is a pathetic example of his weaknesses, with a precious hero of unparalleled literary bent sacrificing himself in order to salvage the soul of a morally-imperfect heroine. Oy!
It's rare that I find a story in need of more bloodshed and less Christian forgivingness but Jeanne of the Marshes is an exception, despite being entertaining and heart-warming.
Oppenheim loves the aristocracy despite not being one of them himself. Though his name couldn't be more Germanic, he chooses French ones for his main characters, making them all seem descended from Normans or Huguenots. He attempts to throw us a curve in this book, disguising the hero as a plain fisiherman, and introducing a secondary heroine as one of the people. Not to worry, though, for she comes from an old family who once owned a great swath of territory.
Despite some flaws, Jeanne is well worth reading.
An unlikely but amusing tale, different from Oppenheim's typical tale.