“Robert withdrew himself in preparation for the kick of a lifetime. And then he burst into life and delivered a marvellous kick to Trevor’s arse.”
A subversive fantasy novella told in the style of a kid’s story. The language used is purposefully simplistic and childlike, and for the most part wasted on the lack of anything interesting to convey.
The story moves from one event to the next with little regard for cohesion. The first half feels like it was written simply to make up the page count, so that it could be considered a novella and not a short. The second half has a focus that improves the narrative greatly, the light of which throws the first half into an even darker pit of pointlessness. It's a shame as it’s a beautifully presented book. It’s the size of a paperback but bound in an attractive, slick hard binding. The paper is thicker than usual and serves the illustrations well.
Every second page has a black ink sketch to illustrate some part of the story detailed on the adjacent page. The pictures are on the left side and the text on the right, and quite often were depicting something half a page ahead of where I’d read, so there were dozens of mild spoilers. The illustrations will please fans of Tim Burton’s sketchy nightmare style; they're very obviously inspired by him and are the reason it's still in residence on my shelf. Overall, it's a quality presentation for a work that I don't feel tries hard enough to really deserve it.
2 yes, it is that Tom Baker out of 5