Dang Near Royal


Fiction - Drama
127 Pages
Reviewed on 04/27/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Multi-Award-Winning Author Milan Sergent studied creative writing in college and began writing the novel series Candlewicke 13 in 2007, a year after featuring some of the series' characters in his solo art exhibition, titled Outsiders and Apparitions, near Rockefeller Center in New York City. An artist and poet since adolescence, a few of Sergent's early poetic works were published in Scarlet Literary Magazine and more recently in his two illustrated poetry books, Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics and Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings. He lives with his wife of 30 years, Beatrice H. Crew, who is also an award-winning author.

To learn more about the author or his works, visit milansergent.com. While there, join the mailing list for important news updates and notifications about future novel releases.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Dang Near Royal by Milan Sergent is a feel-good British comedy. The Gurneys are poor, there’s no two ways about it, and when Derek and Sukie arrive in their limo at the Gurneys' downtrodden doorstep, they come with news that is hard to believe. A reality show producer, Derek tells the Gurneys they are the last known relatives of a British aristocrat and all they have to do is learn to be British aristocrats and convince Lady Pimbledon that they are worthy to inherit. Arriving at Therapon Hall, they soon realize that things are not quite what they seem. With a small staff at the hall, they are soon pushed into helping clean up and repair the place but many are trying to convince them they are nothing more than slaves, part of a human trafficking ring reeled in to take part in a snuff film. Too many things go wrong and Alois Gurney tries to convince Lady Pimbledon that not all is right. When tragedy occurs, everything comes crashing down. Can the Gurneys escape the madness? And what will become of Lady Pimbledon?

Dang Near Royal by Milan Sergent had me in stitches, especially at the start where the American Gurneys are being taught how to speak “proper” British English – “ears” and “fraffly” just made me die with laughter. I’ve read some of Milan’s work in the past and this one didn’t disappoint. This is the deep south meeting stuck-up toffee-nosed Britain and it is comedy at its finest. We get to know the amazing, colorful characters very well and some of them you will really get to know – you’ll soon know whose side you are on! This is more than just a British comedy story though. It’s a story about trying to be something you are not, about learning the hard way that you can’t be and it’s about making the right changes in your life – with a little bit of luck to help you. This is all go right from the first page, a truly down-to-earth comedy with a touch of the bittersweet to it. Milan has written a story that you can only truly appreciate if you understand British humor. I do and I think this would go down a treat as a made-for-TV series in the UK.

Bernadette Diane Anderson

Dang Near Royal by author Milan Sergent begins in the USA, Mississippi, and then shifts to England’s Northampton and Therapon Hall, a stately manor house from the age of debutantes, lords, and ladies. Now alone and wanting desperately to find her next of kin to leave the estate to, Lady Millie S Pembleton is given a last-ditch chance of fame and fortune to help her estate by a reality TV producer, Derek Hosier, and his assistant Suki, who set out to find her surviving kin. Of all the places in the world, it leads them to the back of beyond in Missippi to the Gurney family, Levi, Alois, and children Presley and Tara Bella! Now follows the hilarious tale of a family taken from obscurity in America with horrible neighbors and lifestyle to match to an old-fashioned aristocratic-type establishment with all its strange customs and ideas and expectations in historic England. Lady Millie and the servants are all hell-bent on making it impossible for the Gurney family to inherit their fortune. Enjoy a wonderful story filled with the most incredible characters and the hilarity of it all.

As a first-time reader of Milan Sergent, I certainly was not disappointed. Dang Near Royal is a laugh-out-loud book with elements of realism about the everyday concept we have of the lower side of aristocracy, always making more of themselves than is absolutely necessary. Milan Sergent brings the characters to life with all their foibles, making you have a real feeling of love or loathing for each one. He goes to great lengths to bring what would otherwise be an outrageous story into the realm of humor and succeeds wholeheartedly in making you laugh and cry with frustration at people’s antics. Although the mother is somewhat paranoid, you soon learn to love her honesty and attempts to both protect and help her family attain a better life. A wonderfully written, funny, and sad book that will make your heart rejoice in the end!

Pikasho Deka

Dang Near Royal is a satirical dramedy written by Milan Sergent. A terminal disease forces Millie S. Pimbleton, an English royal from Northhamptonshire, to search for her surviving kin, prompting American producer Derrick Hosier to try to take advantage of the situation. Derrick's search for Millie's last of kin leads him and his English assistant Suki to the deep south of America, where they locate the Gurney family in Wadebridge, Mississippi. Initially branding them pedophile lizard people, Levi and Alois Gurney soon soften up to Derrick when he informs them that they are to star in a reality show called The Benefactrix that will follow Millie's last days with her next of kin. In exchange, the Gurneys would receive Millie's estate and her fortune upon her death.

Funny, clever, and at times surprisingly poignant, Dang Near Royal is delightfully outrageous. Milan Sergent's novel is tightly-paced and provides ample entertainment from start to finish. I gobbled it up in one sitting and just couldn't put it down. The characters are quirky and colorful, and despite their inherent flaws, you can't help but root for them. I was impressed by the dialogue and found the scenes involving Suki teaching about the English aristocracy to the Gurneys downright hilarious. Alois and Suki were my favorite characters, and the evolution of their relationship dynamic was the personal highlight of the book for me. In his quest for humor, author Milan Sergent pulls no punches and makes fun of both southern stereotypes and English aristocracy in equal measure. Dang Near Royal is an absolute riot that I would readily recommend to anybody itching for a hysterically funny read.

Lesley Jones

In Dang Near Royal by Milan Sergent, Derick Hosier, an unscrupulous reality TV producer, has an ingenious plan to make his mark in Hollywood. All he needs to do is persuade the Gurney family to leave their crumbling shack in Mississippi and star in his new show, The Benefactrix in England. If they can convince the terminally ill Lady Pimbledon they are her next of kin, the Gurneys will win her entire estate and fortune. As the Gurney family struggles to adopt the ways of the British aristocracy, the cracks in their story begin to appear, drawing unwanted attention from the media. As conspiracy theories begin to surround the Gurneys, they must now decide who is telling the truth. Have they been human trafficked by Derick to star in a snuff movie, or will they become reality stars and inherit life-changing wealth?

Dang Near Royal by Milan Sergent is one of the best comedy novels I have read for a long time. I found the clever play on words and the results of miscommunication throughout the plot absolutely hysterical. The characters each had unique personality traits which made for some incredibly humorous interactions. I loved the relationship between walking disaster Derick and his assistant Suki. My favorite characters had to be Levi and Alois Gurney; the scenes as they tried to adjust to a different way of life and their opinions of the modern world were laugh-out-loud funny. I especially loved the scene between Levi and the reality show's make-up department when they first arrive in England. The comedy was consistently witty and sharp. This novel, however, is far more than a continuous stream of slapstick and hilarious situations; there are also wonderful relationship developments, and the bonds between the members of the Gurney family were completely endearing. The ending was a really good example of the importance of trusting your basic instinct when it comes to evaluating the goodness in people. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves well-thought-out and intelligent humour.

Vincent Dublado

Milan Sergent’s Dang Near Royal is, without a doubt, a dramatic comedy, but it hints at a little dash of satire as well. As the story opens, a TV producer named Derick Hosier is about to lose everything if he does not come up with a hit reality TV show soon. It has been a long and exhausting trip to the U.K. to find the right person for his reality show scheme. He needs someone wealthy but out of touch, someone desperate. Millie S. Pimbledon is the perfect Grand Dame Guignol for his agenda, a member of the aristocracy whose last of kin, the Gurneys, are settled in Wadebridge, Mississippi. In case they are not related, Derick can claim the Gurneys are from Wadebridge in North Cornwall, England to erase public doubts. As for the Gurneys, they are about to become the center of a media frenzy and investigation, as they are suspected of being exploited by The Benefactrix show into starring in a snuff film.

This is a dark comedy that boldly addresses the unthinkable. In an age where many of us are weaned on mindless reality TV programs, Dang Near Royal reminds us that our gullibility can lead to our downfall. I am impressed by Sergent’s daring and frank illustration of the exploitative world of reality television. He gives you a thorough look at how the minds of his characters work in a plot that operates like a sitcom. Perhaps the hidden message in Dang Near Royal is that reality television is nowhere close to simulating reality and that it is even getting worse at representing the real world. This novel becomes a must-read, because its balanced drama and humor are relevant, and you want to find out if the Gurneys will emerge from that veil of superficiality.