Saturday, March 8, 2014

Barking Benjamin - All Bark, No Bite (Not a slam - you gotta read the book to 'get it')

Don’t let the headline fool you – it’s from one of the many “movie posters” featuring Barking Benjamin from the book by Gareth Barsby.  You don’t understand?  Well, buckle your seatbelt because Barsby is going to take everyone who reads this book on a wild ride.

I first want to point out that I was drawn to this book because of the subtitle “Kids’ stories not for kids”.  Ok, dangling the hook, I am checking out the bait….  Then I get to the description and it talks about Red, home invasions by talking alligators, and magic rings.  And the thing that pulls it all together is that they are all being “observed” by a dimension hopping cartoon dog named Barking Bejamin who is a little hacked off that the “reboot” of his movie pretty much sucks.

Confused?  So was I.  Curious – I just had to….  And you know what – it somehow all made sense to me when I read it by the time I got to the dancing camel.  I am a sucker for camel characters – it’s a weakness.  Barsby manages to weave in and out of stories like a grandmother knitting a scarf at breakneck speeds. 

What I really admire about the character “Barking Benjamin” is that he is definitely not a fan of the current Hollywood trend of “rebooting” movies.  Did we really need a newer version of TRON?  Don’t even think of touching “Escape from New York”!  Some things are just better to leave be and appreciate them for what they are – minus the computer graphics and all.

You see, sometimes I wonder if there is anyone who writes anything original out there anymore.  Well, I found probably the most unique book in my hands while reading this book.  Don’t let the “Kids’ stories not for kids” make you think you are getting a more grown up version of “Red Riding Hood.”  You want boring and a reboot – then Barking Benjamin is going to be paying you a visit. 

This cartoon dog don’t play that game!

If you like alternate worlds, unique books, with a dash of strange - this is the perfect book.

Amazon Link:  Barking Benjamin

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