Saturday, 19 February 2005

Book Review: 2-in-1 Uncle Stories (J.P. Martin)

Daphne's been pestering me to read this book since the dawn of days (ok, maybe just since the dawn of a certain day in 2004), and I finally got around to it last week.

Finished it in two days, and my head is pretty messed up now. Not because it's confusing, but because it's just so ridiculous sometimes. Ridiculous, but fun. :-)

Here's a mini-review:


Title: 2-in-1 Uncle Stories
Author: J.P. Martin

Uncle is a millionaire elephant who lives in Homeward, a castle so large that even he has not seen most of it.

This book consists of two books: Uncle, and Uncle Cleans Up. The first book follows his adventures exploring his castle and battling the bad guys in Badfort, led by Beaver Hateman. The second has Uncle exploring the castle again, and cleaning up some bad hats that are lurking within his home.

Main Characters (courtesy of The Places You Will Go):

Uncle: a millionaire elephant who lives in a castle called Homeward with his faithful retainer the Old Monkey and Canute Goodman, a white cat who likes to read the morning paper. Uncle wears a purple dressing gown and likes drinking hot chocolate which is served to him in a pail.

Old Monkey: Uncle's faithful retainer, who loves crowds, because he loves running over the heads of people.

Beaver Hateman: Uncle's mortal enemy, who calls the elephant "the world's fattest dictator." He is not a beaver.

What I Liked:

  • Very non-sensical and ridiculous, but in a funny and silly way
  • Brings to mind some of the more entertaining Enid Blyton books such as The Wishing Chair, and Faraway Tree, because it consists of purely made-up ideas and stories, and very simple plots.
  • Quentin Blake's illustrations are brilliant, especially the one of Uncle kicking up Beaver Hateman
  • Lots of very interesting characters, most of whom have their own unique personality.
  • I'd LOVE to explore Homeward!

What I didn't like:

  • The somewhat haphazard style of the story. It's as if Martin just wrote down every single thing that he thought of, and didn't bother how it was silly or not.
  • Sometimes, it's TOO ridiculous!
  • There are too many characters at times. I had to flip back a few times to just find out who a character was, and when he was mentioned first.


This book is both silly and funny, and makes for an entertaining read, one that people who grew up on Dr. Seuess might appreciate more. A vivid imagination is the key to reading this book, since you gotta imagine an elephant in a bathrobe kicking up people into the sky, and a all sorts of weird and crazy stuff.

All in all, a great and fun read!

for more info and some pictures of this book, go to Daphne's post HERE.

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