I really like and admire Andy Stanton's Mr. Gum books, but I fear that the series has run out of steam.
If you are new to these books I urge you to look at one of the first two or three books, (say, "You're a Bad Man, Mr. Gum", or "Mr. Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire"). In those Stanton does a wonderful job of describing Lamonic Bibber and its citizens, including especially Polly Lovely, Alan Taylor and Friday. Those books have a manic energy and a contagious charm. The books are full of surprises, word play and devilish energy.
By this volume eight, though, the series is tired. All of the same characters are here, but they seem to be just going through the paces. Worse, if you haven't read the earlier books and if you haven't already been introduced to them, then they will seem sort of flat and pointless in this book. And a lot of the non sequitur word play feels familiar.
In a way the series is running backwards. The first books are all characters and wordplay, with practically nothing in the way of plot. You really just sort of visit with these cuckoos. In these later books, and especially this one, there is a strong coherent plot and very little personality to the characters. It feels just like the last episodes of the last season of a long running sitcom, where there is nothing new to do and we're all just recycling past highlights.
I know this all sounds a little mean, so don't get the wrong idea. The first books are great, and well worth finding. After all, "The Truth is a Lemon Meringue".
- Pre-order Price Guarantee! Order now and if the Amazon.com.au price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you'll receive the lowest price. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)