Artful Readers Club
"You're Having a Laugh" CJ
Desert Island Discs CJ
101 goals in 1001 days
Find at least one geocache in all 72 UK counties
Sketchbook Project 2012
Seeing all 30 NHL teams play
Visiting all 30 NHL arenas
Project Runway CJ
Artistic Licence CJ
Rock Resurrected CJ
Take Ten CJ
UKStampers CJ #3
Fabric Round Robin
UKStampers CJ #2
It's time for another artful read - and I'm glad to be here, as I wasn't entirely sure I'd be finished in time to take part this month - but I made it by the skin of my teeth - hooray!
Part of the delay was down to reading the book late in the month .... my original planned title for June was another Robert Rankin book - the Toyminator - but when I picked it up to start it, I discovered it was actually the second book in a two-parter.
Not wanting to read part 2 before part 1, I ordered the original - the Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse - online, but it didn't arrive until mid June, which put me on the back foot.
Luckily it was a fairly quick read, and I just about had time to write this review and whip up my art piece, and so here I am :)
This is, apparently, Robert Rankins's 24th book - I had no idea he had written so many! I have read and enjoyed many (but it seems, nowhere near all) of his books in the past - and particularly enjoyed what I have read from the Brentford Trilogy (which is somewhat of a misnomer as I believe there are 9 books in that particular series so far!)
Rankin is the master of humorous (bordering on downright silly), fantasy fiction, full of bad puns and running gags and surreal situations. And this book was no different.
It had all of the classic Rankin trademarks, it was an enjoyable enough read, and I'm definitely going to read the sequel, but I have to be honest, it was not my absolute favourite of his books.
I'm putting that down to the setting - usually his books are set in a fairly realistic and recognisable urban kind of environment, populated largely by fairly realistic and recognisable human characters, even if the story itself veers far from realism. But this book is set in Toy Town, the lead character is a talking teddy bear, and most of the other lead roles are filled by either other toys, or nursery rhyme characters.
I had a similar problem when another of my favourite authors, Jasper Fforde, set a book in a nursery rhyme environment. Maybe I just prefer my crazy surreal fantasy stories to be a little more relatable?? (and yes, I know that makes no sense)
But, don't let me put you off, it was a funny book, well plotted, there's a serial killer on the loose in Toy Town and our heroes solve the case and save the day and have some fun adventures along the way. I can't really fault the book other than to say that the author's other books are even better!
So - in summary - read the Brentford Trilogy instead :D
For my accompanying artwork this month, I painted one of the eponymous chocolate bunnies (he's supposed to look a bit evil, with his devil's eye, but instead he ended up looking equal parts cute and delicious, but not particularly menacing....). And then I added one of the classic Rankin running gags ("it must be a tradition, or an old charter or something" - which appears in all his books at least once, I counted two times in this one) using hand drawn 'word art':
Next month I'll be reading Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins, a total change of pace from what I've read the past few times - see you again in late July .....