The Colonel and the Bee, by Patrick Canning: #BookReview.

colonel and bee

304 pages

Literary/Action & Adventure.

How to describe a book that is unique?

This is an absurdist fantasy, delightfully written and so enjoyable to read. The author cleverly engages us with his empathetic description of Beatrix’s life (the Bee of the title) in the circus, and her pragmatic acceptance of a life so unjust and cruel to those blessed with a normal existence, yet treated by her as something she simply has to endure until some release occurs.

The Colonel, a colourful, heroic, charming, adventuring knight who is also an opportunist seducer of willing women who generally should know better, is an inventor, creator, philosopher, pragmatic altruist and seeker of a mystery that remains unrevealed until the end of the story.

Much of what happens in this fascinating work of far-ranging imagination is, on deeper analysis, impossible. But the author’s great gift is his ability to convince us of the plausibility of the world he presents. We’re willing to suspend our disbelief because we fall in love with the protagonists and will them to succeed in their quests.

Tension, mystery, betrayal, misunderstanding, injustice and some moving interaction drive this engrossing tale of fantasy with its echoes of Jules Verne, Ryder Haggard and Conan Doyle. A thoroughly enjoyable romp with much disguised social comment and subversive moralising cunningly camouflaged at its heart. I enjoyed this book tremendously!


[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]