Sunday, August 28, 2011

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk


Strange. Funny. Original. It's hard to describe this book the way I want to. While reading it I went from laughing (out loud) to almost vomiting in disgust...what book can do that, all while keeping a light airy feel to it? Overall this is a humourous book that delves into the really dark humour a fair bit. But, the content is just...strange at some points. It kind of reminded me of a mix of Monty Python type humour and some no-name crude stand up comedian who relies on swearing and sextalk to make jokes. So, appealing to all people in some way!?

I found it in the short story section in the library. The book has a strange set up, almost like chapters but almost like short stories. The book is a made up of about a dozen small stories/jokes, some range from a few pages to maybe twenty. They are all quips from different animal's points of view. There are birds, dogs, mice, hippos...and to top it off, there are some illustrations from Ian Falconer (you may know him from the best selling children's series Olivia the pig). The stories/jokes are definitely one's that will stay with you for awhile. They are not easy to retell, say around the water cooler at the office, but they are satisfying jokes to read.

The jokes/stories seemed to favour stereotyping. When read they make you laugh, but, then upon further reflection, I found them almost a jab at humanity - how cruel and awful we can sometimes be.

There was a joke about a black watersnake and a white duck who makes a mistaken racist remark. A faithful dog who is sold out to breed purebreds, but, comes home to his 'wife' everynight. Birds who migrate south and complain about the lazy southern birds. The namesake, a squirrel and chipmunk who cannot date because the parents do not believe in inter-species mixing. These were a few I found laughable.

However, there were many I felt were just strange and didn't leave a good taste in my mouth. The one I found the most disturbing was the sick rat & healthy rat.

The healthy rat is put in a cage with this other rat who has cancer and all these tumors or whatnot. The healthy rat gets on his soap box and rants about how the sick rat should have made healthy choices in life and that cancers and such are a direct result of lifestyle...turns out these rats are in a lab that pumps chemicals into them causing these cancers for research. Anyone order some extreme dark humour? Disturbing in a way, but, so easy to relate to! Turn it around and throw a human in cruel!


*Unless you want to be left with a strange feeling of disturbed happiness.

No comments:

Post a Comment