Friday, April 23, 2010

The Boy Who Kicked Pigs

The Boy Who Kicked Pigs

Today I’m going to be reviewing The Boy Who Kicked Pigs by Tom Baker.

Yes, you read that right. Tom Baker. And it’s exactly who you think it is.

Tom Baker is the hilariously mad British actor who is most noted for his role as The Doctor in Doctor Who from 1974 to 19811 and can be most recently heard as the narrator on Little Britain. In 1999, he decided to publish this book, which he himself calls ‘a grotesque masterpiece’ on the cover.

And that is probably the most accurate description for this book. A grotesque masterpiece. From beginning to end, this book is a rambling mess of sarcasm and dark humour. While the story is very clear from start to finish, you can be whisked away into a rambling side note for several pages if you’re not paying attention. It’s brilliant.

As this is supposed to be a children’s book2, the story itself is very simple. It’s about a boy who kicks pigs and, when he stops, decides that he hates the human race more than he ever hated pigs. Terrible consequences occur. It’s pretty straightforward.

In this way, the book is very much along the same vein as A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Both have twisted dark humour and hilariously pessimistic narrators who reveal more about themselves than they do the actual story, but The Boy Who Kicked Pigs contains a lot more graphic description than A Series of Unfortunate Events ever does.

So, while I do recommend this to folks who like books similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events, I must caution against the very grim scenes at the end of this book. It depends on the age of the child reading the book and how well they handle that type of fiction, of course, but I can easily see a younger child being freaked out by the final scenes.

1 You know, the awesome one with the scarf.
2 I think.

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