Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: Mr. Toppit

A few days ago I finished reading Mr. Toppit, the debut novel by Charles Elton.

This novel has already been released, and done very well, in England, and is slated to be released in the U.S. in September of this year.

Mr. Toppit is the story of a children's book series, written by a man named Arthur Hayman. The protagonist of the series is based on Arthur's son Luke, and after Arthur's death, and an American woman's influence, the books become bestsellers. The remaining Haymans - Luke, his mother Martha, and his sister Rachel, then have to deal with the sudden fame. The allusion to the Winnie the Pooh franchise is noticeable, although Arthur's series is supposed to be a quite a bit darker. The title of the novel comes from the overbearing, unseen antihero of the novels, who consistently gives Luke tasks that cannot be fulfilled to Mr. Toppit's satisfaction.

Overall, when I finished the book, I did not feel like it was one of the most amazing books ever written. I did feel, however, that it was entertaining, that it wasn't predictable, and that it was addicting. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to know what crazy things were going to be said and done next. I sympathized with Luke, and I was not expecting the fitting ending. I kept reading because I wanted to keep reading, not because I felt like I had to in order to write an adequate review.

Mr. Toppit is a dark novel, in which the characters act like real people. Some of the things they do don't make sense, and those that do make sense are often slightly horrifying.

It is an entertaining read, and I recommend it. I think it is interesting, slightly depressing, and the characters stay with you, both while you're reading the novel and afterwards.

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