At the beginning of the regenerated Doctor Who series, in the first Christopher Eccleston/Billie Piper episode, Rose, a wheelie-bin swallows Mickey. And then spits him out again….or is it him? As part of the plot, it was a hint – no, a statement – that we as viewers had entered a world of the absurd, where the rules of normal life were left behind. Within the first few pages of Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird vs Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets, by Barnaby Taylor, I realized I was in another absurd world, missing the rules of normal life, where just about anything could happen.
Falcon Boy (A Fairly Hopeless Hero) is the series title – this book is the first in the series and currently the only one published. The story defies categorization. At one level, it’s a children’s book about a super-hero of sorts who really isn’t very good at what he does. On another, it’s very adult, the writer having a wry eye for the ridiculousness of life. Things happen just because the author – who is often present in the story as a commentator – decide they should. Characters seem familiar…but like the Mickey that emerged from the wheelie-bin, they aren’t necessarily what they seem. They also have lives of their own…several of them have Twitter accounts!
I haven’t laughed so much reading a book in some time. Falcon Boy isn’t going to be to all readers’ taste, though, and if you haven’t a clue what I’m getting at with the Doctor Who parallels, then it might not be for you. But if you know where to look for a tattoo to identify a dead bishop, understand that the Frog & Peach is in Yorkshire for the parking, or believe that Rocky & Bullwinkle is a cartoon for adults, you may want to read it, or at least read it to your kids. You can download it for free from Amazon.
This is an independent review, not sought by the author nor written for any benefit. The opinions stated here are mine alone.