Mischief – Book review

41b6-MpsKXL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_Mischief by Chris Wilson (available on Kindle, and in Hardback & Paperback)

This particular review is an exception to my rule of only reviewing books that are either self-published or those of aspiring writers published by the smaller independent publishing houses. Chris Wilson, the author of Mischief, is a long established and successful author of several highly regards books. The reason for including him in my reviews is partly because he has been an immense help and encouragement to me in developing my own writing, but mainly because it is such a wickedly funny and well written book.

 

By far one of the wittiest and wickedly funny explorations of the human condition I’ve read in a long time. It begins with what may (or not) be a simple act of kindness, namely the adoption of an abandoned child in the Amazonian rain-forest by a British zoologist, but quickly develops into a brutal but nonetheless side-splittingly funny analysis of human nature.

Brought to England to be raised and educated, Charlie, the principal character and narrator, suffers an unparalleled crisis of identity. Due to his somewhat unusual appearance i.e. bright orange skin, yellow eyes, virtually bald from head to toe, eventually growing to be over seven feet tall, not to mention other peculiarities of his anatomy, Charlie believes himself to be some sort of ape, and not of the human species.     Despite completing his education, getting a job, enjoying a number of relationships, and being obviously intelligent and articulate, this last trait being unique to humans, this is a question that is intentionally never truly resolved. Although not believing himself to be human, Charlie desperately wants to be accepted as such, or at least be accepted into human society. The problem facing Charlie is that he possesses none of the human character vices such as greed, anger, intolerance, aggression, and deceitfulness to name but a few, whilst at the same time being over endowed with an abundance of redeeming qualities such as empathy, kindness, and a distaste for violence of any kind. In his struggle to be human, Charlie tries to understand and embrace the former. It is hard for the reader not be sympathetic to his plight, whilst at the sane time secretly hoping that he fails, and retains everything that is good about himself.

The book itself has a very literary and academic feel to it yet still retains an easy to read style. If I had to express just one criticism it would be that perhaps the author’s account of humanity is just a tad too pessimistic, but overall, a brilliant satire much in the vein of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, though with Swift it is more of a political satire; both comic and sad in equal measure, occasionally graphic though not obscenely so, this is a book that cleverly dissects human nature, and to a lesser extent, the academic world environment about him. Thoroughly enjoyable.

About RuddersWriting

Middle-aged man, aspiring writer, book blogger/reviewer, and author, one grown-up son and young grandson, now retired from the rail industry, actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on November 18, 2013, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

EUROPEAN Short Film and Screenplay Festival

Showcasing the best of European Films and Scripts at the FEEDBACK Festivals!

Festival for HORROR

Showcasing the BEST OF HORROR FILMS, SCREENPLAYS, AND STORIES

(CALIATH)

A land of ineptitude.

SindrElf

Geeky Blogger

Luniakk Publications©

Descend into the foulest depths of Hell.

johannawrites

From the first moment, you feel something powerful. Whether it be the opposite of happiness, I channel all of that to my writing. Read. Write. Love.

Hunter Shea

The Official Website of Horror Writer Hunter Shea

stephenfitzsimons

Let's Doodle With Words!

A Narrative Map

Connecting communities through stories of people and place

Book by Book Publicity

Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Literary Awards - One Stop for All Your Publicity Needs

RainK

Short Stories to entertain you

Guy Portman's Blog

Portman's Ponderings, Procrastinations, Preambles, Prognoses & Parodies.

Walking London one postcode at a time

My Aim - a walk in each postcode

Sarah Stuart - Romantic Suspense

Award-winning writing that pushes the boundaries

rebeccacarteremona

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Mystic Investigations | Supernatural Sleuthing

A variety of fiction and non-fiction – everything from the dark & thought provoking to light humour… Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Articles, Book Reviews, etc.

%d bloggers like this: