Welcome to a fresh batch of not-reviews (the word review is a bit scary, isn’t it? I prefer ‘Telling People About Stuff I’ve Read.’ Not quite as catchy though). Today’s pretentious book club picture (minus book, whoops!) is brought to you from A Canteen, Chelmsford’s groovy hipster cafe. If stone baked pizza, artsy bread or smoothies are your cup of tea then come on down (Disclaimer – they also have cups of tea).
1. Time Pimp by Garrett Cook. This winner of the Wonderland Awards made me feel as though I was sitting on a tea cup ride at the local fair. That’s not a bad thing – sometimes on the same page I chuckled (the pimp’s assurances that he neither knows nor cares how time travel works is a recurring joke), felt disorientated and then disturbed.
Much like Dr Who coming from a race of Time Lords, apparently Time Pimps are born on a specific planet into the profession. The Pimp’s various adventures through time with his stable of surreal hoes – which includes a world after pandas have revealed an evil plan to destroy mankind – was a bit of an action packed bombardment for my tiny mind at times. I liked it though, it’s entertaining madness and if you can allow yourself to dribble down the sink with the brain melting words you’ll be just fine.
2. Kitten by G Arthur Brown. In the real world (or is it?) the kitten is not really a kitten, it’s a deformed squirrel thing that coughs up stamps and belongs to a small boy. The not-kitten is killed by the boy’s mother (well, kind of. Just read it) and appears in an alternate reality on a Steel Planet as a real kitten. Aided by a fishy handed man, he goes on a quest for revenge.
This is a very silly book and one of my favourites. Every page was a joy and contained something I wish I’d written, from hitching a ride on a panda by pretending to be a fancy hat to the abrupt dismissal of anyone’s sad story with “we don’t have time for your crap.” I found it to be an easy, brain tickling read and I think you might too.
3. Clockwork Girl by Athena Villaverde. You get three for the price of one with this book as it contains three novellas. The first one, Caterpillar Girl, was way too goth kid for me, although if that’s your cup of tea then I recommend it. I liked the next two much more.
Clockwork Girl reminded me of a sweeter, sadder and less angry Metamorphosis (one of the characters is even called Gregor). A girl finds herself transformed into a clockwork toy and suffers at the hands of those she lives with, including her owner, a girl who tires of her when she grows up. Much like the Velveteen Rabbit she is thrown away, but always hopes to be reunited with her owner.
Beehive Girl is a sensuous tale of salsa dancing and honey, with the ultimate accolade being chosen to dance with the titular honey-combed character. However the bees inside her don’t like bad dancers and sting anyone who puts a foot wrong.
I’m not sure how Athena managed to write an entire novella about waiting to dance with somebody, but she did and it’s very pretty indeed. In fact all of the stories are simple but very sweet and pretty, and if you don’t mind the odd happy ending I definitely recommend it.