Friday, July 27, 2007
The Boy who Kicked Pigs - Tom Baker
When thinking about Tom Baker everyone of my generation equates him as being 'The Doctor' from Doctor Who for others he may be the oddball voice over of Little Brittan. Theres a dark side to this guy, a very dark side, he chooses the road less travelled in the ravines of his mind and on the way pulls out disturbing stories like this.
The plot is quite simple; 13-year-old Robert Caligari is like most 13 year old boys thoroughly evil. Robert gets his kicks from kicking pigs. He has a humiliating experience with a bacon sandwich, after which he comes to the conclusion that it is the whole Human Race that he despises. He sees himself as a champion of all the animals that the Human Race hates Rats, spiders, snakes and sharks. This leads him down a very dangerous path and towards an exceedingly gruesome end. Robert Caligari Displays himself to a deeply nasty, twisted youth with a vendetta against everything pork related, and his tale is debauched foray into the fantasies and mindset of deranged boy who could be the devil himself if he wasn't so funny and oddly likeable. You won't like for a second the things he does, but you can't help but get a kick out of it.
Imagine Tim Burton but much nastier; Tom Baker weaves a modern fairy tale of rats, tarantulas, dead hollowed out trees, bull terriers, and pigs that really do fly - in a manner of speaking. And the creepy, stylish drawings by David Roberts add that extra level of nastiness to it. It's like a book of bedtime stories that fell in with the wrong crowd and got pierced in weird places.
The book was written as a children’s book, but there is enough meat in it to engross an adult reader. It is filled full of observations on normal everyday life and advice like being nice to people in authority (mainly because it really annoys them). I found it a truly engrossing and at times disturbing read, but one I happily go back to again and again.
I would however advise caution on giving it to kids as it does have a particularly gruesome and unpleasant ending.