Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"The Book of Nonsense" by David Michael Slater

I probably shouldn't even bother to blog about this book because I don't have much to say about it. This is a children's novel whose story is intriguing enough. It was interesting to note that, even though the copy I borrowed from our library was marked "Uncorrected Proof, not for sale," with a disclaimer inside about it being an advance reader copy for review purposes only and subject to change, it was much more well-written than Rhino Ranch which apparently was published in its flawed form with no excuse. I do hope that in the final version they managed to correct the character who was "braking" into a smile.

When I picked up this book I expected "nonsense" to refer to the absurd rather than the meaningless. I was thinking of a poem I remember being transfixed by in my childhood:

One fine day in the middle of the night
Two dead men got up to fight.
A blind man came to see fair play,
A dumb man came to shout hurray.

Or this couplet I remember from a similar poem:

I went upstairs to the cellar
to clean a downstairs room.

So that is the sort of nonsense I expected. As it turned out, the Book of Nonsense mentioned in the title was full of meaningless combinations of letters, not even real words. Not that this really matters, as I still enjoyed the story.

It stood out to me that so many people in this book had weird names. The main characters were twins named Dex and Daphna Wax (can you imagine if your name was Dex Wax?? Sounds like something you use to treat your outdoor furniture); the villain was Asterius Rash; Daphna's two pseudo-friends were Wren and Teal.

As you can see on the cover photo, this book is "volume 1" of a series. (My copy said Words of Power: Book One). Enough questions remained at the end to make it clear that more books would be following. As I said, the story was interesting enough, but not so much that I will be seeking out the sequels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I totally loved this book--could not put it down--and am dying for the sequel everyone says is going to be controversial in some Da Vinci Code sort of way. I guess the hints about the book having belonged to God will be explained. There must have been a lot of changes from that copy. The series is now called Sacred Books. It's coming out next month according to Amazon!!!