Posts Tagged With: parody

The Secret Five and the Stunt Nun Legacy by John Lawrence

Title: The Secret Five and the Stunt Nun Legacy
Author: John Lawrence
ISBN: 978-1848764590
Publisher: Matador
First Published: October 2010
No. of Pages: 272

Rating: 1/5

Synopsis (Amazon):
A comic novel, a surreal parody of children’s adventure stories aimed at adult readers in which, unnervingly, the time-travelling characters are aware of their place in the narrative, and the author treats them with curmudgeonly disdain. The plot, creaky and with more holes than a Swiss cheese, is the vehicle for the quirky and unusual humour which is packed onto every page. Our young-adult heroes, Betty, Daniel, Ricky, Amy and their dog Whatshisname, think that they live life on the edge, dominated by secret passwords and meetings. They have a tetchy relationship with Whatshisname, who might just be cleverer than they think; they also have a tetchy relationship with the author, who definitely isn’t. The characters sometimes become uncontrollable. Ricky walks out of the book at one stage and, at another critical point, Daniel demands that his character should wear spectacles. A feeble attempt by the author to kill off his characters fails miserably. This book for adults is crammed with humour, occasionally a little cheeky, never offensive, but always unashamedly silly.

I am an easily amused person. It doesn’t take much for me to crack a smile; a moderately humourous book will have me tittering; a cleverly written parody with witty quips and funny scenarios is likely to cause sudden outbursts of hysterical laughter and coffee to erupt from my nose.

This is not one of those books.

“With hints of Jasper Fforde…” claims the back cover. Except there’s one major difference. Jasper Fforde is funny.

This should have been a dream come true for someone like me. I adore Fforde’s sense of the bizarre, and as a child I whiled away many a happy hour with Enid Blyton, so this should have been a combination conceived in heaven. It was not.

It simply tries too hard.

The self-aware characters are too one-dimensional and it takes far too long for absolutely nothing to happen. And then when something does happen, it’s too trivial and incredibly dull.

I’m afraid I was unable to finish it. I gave it a good chance – I read more than half of it, but the entire time I was wishing it was modelled on the Choose Your Own Adventure series instead.

If you want Ricky to open the door, turn to page 73

If you want every last one of these incredibly annoying characters to spontaneously combust, thus ending this pathetic attempt at parody, turn to page 8

I’ll give you one guess which page I would have chosen.

Enid Blyton must be turning in her grave.

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

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Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage – Valerie Estelle Frankel

Amazon Synopsis

Unapproved, unendorsed, unofficial, and unstoppable The devious Lord Revolting has split his soul into seven Plot Devices, from the One Ring to Coloring Book of Doom. Destroying the Ministry of Muckups, he launches himself on a campaign of terror and ruthlessness, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the last Wizneyland Princess Beach Week. Can Henry Potty, lousy student and heroic Chosen One, destroy the Plot Devices in time? Or will a paper shortage kill him, as the loudmouthed ghost of Bumbling Bore foresees? Join Henry as he duels unexploded mimes, flying monkeys, telemarketers, and the dreaded Tooth Fairy. It’s a race against National Treasures, Legions of Dimness, and Miniclorians, from the Funhouse of Terror to Chickenfeet Academy. But if Henry wants to recoup his fans from Professor Sniffly Snort, he must try. As the epic battle nears, only one thing is certain: Henry Potty’s series is numbered.


My Thoughts

Frankel has recreated a Harry Potter story but in a tongue-in-cheek style that is hilarious. Her chapter headings are wickedly funny with titles such as A Series of Unfortunate Camping Trips and The Dimness is Rising. This is an unofficial version to a story that is loved by hundreds. I think Frankel will pick up her own army of fans with this original take on the Potter books. It’s not just HP that gets the Frankel treatment either, there are several other well known and loved stories included in this tale. The Wicked Witch of the West and Dracula even make an appearance along with several other fantasy characters.   Although this is the sequel to Henry Potty and the Pet Rock it can be read as a stand-alone quite easily. I laughed out loud at several passages and highly recommend this book to fans of humorous fantasy novels and parodies. Suitable for all ages this is one that can be shared by the whole family.

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