Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Boy Who Kicked Pigs by Tom Baker (3/81)

Category: Themed Titles - Animals

The first book in my wild card category where the books are chosen because they have a type of animal in the title, which I hope should make for some interesting reading.

This book was in a list of someone’s all time favourite reads who had similar taste to me, so I bought a copy when I found it available cheaply. It is a very short book, just over 120 pages, but alternate pages are used for illustrations, so there is not much text and I read it in about an hour.

It is about an evil little boy who delights in hating other people and making them suffer. The book is the story of his exploits and ultimate downfall. It is preposterous and gory, but a lot of fun if you have a dark sense of humour. I’m not sure whether this is intended for adults or children – I don’t think it is suitable for younger children, but it has a similar appeal as the books of Roald Dahl.

Author Tom Baker is best known for playing Doctor Who, although in the UK in recent years he has done a lot of voiceover work. He has a very distinctive voice that I could easily imagine reading the words of this book, which I think added to its quirkiness.

Whilst the text did make me smirk and even laugh at loud at one point, equal credit must be given to the illustrator David Roberts whose witty drawings enhance the story enormously.

This book certainly isn’t going to be to everyone’s tastes and the ending is particularly stomach-churning, but if you like black comedy it is a good quick read.

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