William Kirkpatrick wrote about the book for Crisis Magazine a couple of years ago with one glaring error:
the book has a whimsical, Pickwickian quality. It follows the rambling adventures of two British (sic) stalwarts, Patrick Dalroy and Humphrey Pump, as they try to stay one step ahead of the law, dispensing free liquor as they go in an England where alcohol has been banned. The “Flying Inn” is their motor car which they have furnished with a large keg of rum, a cask of cheese, and a pub sign.
Patrick Dalroy is IRISH!
. . . The reason that alcohol is banned in Chesterton’s tale is because some upper-class elites have become enamored of Islam and everything Islamic—including the prohibition of drink. Chief among these is Lord Ivywood, a Nietzschean diplomat who has enlisted the aid of a mysterious Turk, Misyra Ammon, to spread the new gospel among the jaded upper class who find exotic Islam to be more exciting than their own traditions and religion.
Other than Mr. Quoodle, the dog who leaves Lord Ivywood and joins Dalroy and Pump on their adventures, the most interesting character is Lady Joan Brett, who is too close to Lord Ivywood because of family ties and is in mortal and moral danger. From Chapter 10, "The Character of Quoodle":
While Dalroy and Pump are on the run and in trouble, Lady Joan is in danger of losing her immortal soul!
In the book of essays we finished discussing in June, The Well and the Shallows, Chesterton often referred to Prohibition in the U.S.A. and he did not like it. For example: in number VII of "My Six Conversions":
I can confirm that rum and cheddar cheese will be available without charge and without any violation of Lord Ivywood's pernicious Parliamentary permutations.