You guys, I can't stop watching Paranormal Witness. Anyway; I almost thought I'd never get around to this, but in the last week, I haven't done anything new. The title is the real title of a real book, it's by Robert Rankin and it's very, very bizarre.
|This is a photo of my actual copy - there are many covers for this|
but I really like to share the cover of the edition which I read.
So I got this book - among many others - from some family for my 21st birthday. It was one of the most personal and heartfelt gifts I could have imagined, and I was - and am - so grateful. I finally got around to reading this when I was on holiday, and I have to say, it's a great option for holiday reading - the conversational style and familiar characters make for a cleverly written book, which is gripping and funny without being too mentally taxing.
Here's the blurb:
'Once upon a time Jack set out to seek his fortune in the big city. But the big city is Toy City, formerly known as Toy Town, and it has grown considerably since the good old days and isn't all that jolly any more. And there is a serial killer loose on the streets. The Old Rich, nursery-rhyme characters, are being slaughtered, one by one, and the Toy City police are getting nowhere in their investigations. Meanwhile, Private Eye Bill Winkie has gone missing, leaving behind his sidekick Eddie Bear to take care of things. Eddie may be a battered teddy with an identity crisis, but someone's got to stop the killer. When he teams up with Jack, the two are ready for the challenge. Not to mentino the heavy drinking, bad behaviour, car chases, gratuitous sex and violence, toy fetishism and all around grossness along the way. It's going to be an epic adventure!'
Which I think just about sums up the book. The cast is made up of nursery rhyme characters, such as Humpty-Dumpty, Little Boy Blue and Little Miss Muffett. Despite this - I would categorically sat that this is not a book for kids. There is a lot of drinking, quite a few sexual references and some pretty grizzly murder techniques. For us adults though, it's a chance to revisit our childhood stories, and perhaps develop a deeper understanding of them. Or just laugh, because this is one crazy book.
I've already mentioned the conversational style that the author has with us, the readers, but the dialogue is simple and the characters are likeable, things which make the book a simplistic read, yet maintains that the author is incredibly skilled in his art. The storyline does at times feel convoluted and complex - always switching direction just when you think you know what's going on. However, Rankin created the genre 'far-fetched fiction' sp that his stories may have their own section in libraries and bookshops, and this book absolutely fits the characteristics which the genre suggests.
As far as metaphor is concerned - and I must deal with this, being an English student - the entire book is arguably a satirical view of the politics of the world, with people in the higher positions becoming too power hungry or headstrong, while the lower classes try to regain control or overthrow the higher powers. In addition to this, there's the whole 'it has grown considerably since the good old days and isn't all that jolly any more' which is both an extension to the whole class divide taking away from the happy simplicity of societies past, but also, that perhaps new technology is making our lives less vibrant in many ways. I could go on and on here no I've started, but let's not.
There isn't a great deal left for me to say about this book, apart from to say that I really did enjoy reading it. As I've said, it's familiar, it's simple, it's clever, but above all else, it's amusing and it's funny. There are running jokes and charming characters. I will definitely read this book again, and lend it to any friends who want to read it. I'll also look out for more of Robert Rankin's works when I visit the book store again.
Thanks for reading, I'll be back on Friday with part four of Seasons. See you then! Have a great week!