Saturday, August 13, 2022

Walter R. Brooks, Freddy the Politician (1939)

There is a lot to say about this book, but before anything else, have a look at the most bonkers quote I ever expect to see in this series:

Mr. Bean knew that his animals could talk, but he was a pretty conventional man.  That means that he didn't like new things very much.  He liked to have everything go on as it had when he was a boy.  And so it made him feel uncomfortable and a little embarrassed when he heard animals talk.  He just couldn't get used to it.

Comment is probably superfluous here.  Brooks, you maniac!

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Saturday, August 06, 2022

Walter R. Brooks, The Clockwork Twin (1937)

Here's this!  More human children!  What happened to our previous human children, Ella and Everett? you might ask.  Shouldn't you do, I don't know, anything with them before you introduce new ones all willy-nilly?  I'll tell you: they've “gone abroad for a year with Mrs. Bean's sister, and the Beans are alone again.”  Oh.  Okay.  Welp.  I'm pretty sure they're just written out of the series after this without a further thought, so don't think too much about them!

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Monday, August 01, 2022

Walter R. Brooks, The Story of Freginald (1936)

So, to speak first of the titles: there's this one, then there's The Clockwork Twin, and then Wiggins for President, and after that all the titles start with “Freddy.”  Wiggins for President became Freddy the Politician, but for some reason, the other two have seemingly been change-resistant: they were reprinted as Freddy and Freginald and Freddy and the Clockwork Twin, but you never hear those alternate titles, and the current Overlook Press reprints use the originals.  Who knows?

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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Walter R. Brooks, Freddy the Detective (1932)

In this book: Freddy! And he's a detective! That was the original title; this one was never changed, but it seems that Brooks still wasn't convinced at this point that this was going to be a wholly Freddy-centric series, as the next three books all received non-standardized titles. So, then.

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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Walter R. Brooks, Freddy Goes to the North Pole (1930)

This was originally titled More to and Again.  What the HECK, man?!?

I’ve gotta be up front here: after being not-super-impressed by Freddy Goes to Florida, I kind of thought I’d have to have some degree of patience to get to where the series really got good.  I was prepared to dig in a little.  

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Monday, July 25, 2022

Walter R. Brooks, Freddy Goes to Florida (1927)

When I was a child, the Freddy the Pig novels--of which Brooks wrote twenty-five--played a big part in my literary consumption (he also wrote the stories that inspired Mr. Ed).  I remember I really liked them, but I hadn't read any (or, more likely, had any read to me by my dad) in thirty-odd years, so my memories are hazy and I thought it would be interesting and hopefully fun to revisit the series.  It was out-of-print for a long time, but the whole thing was reissued as ebooks in I think 2014.

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Thursday, July 21, 2022

Andrus Kivirähk, The Man Who Spoke Snakish (2007)

Well, I'm shortly going to be teaching in Estonia, so I read an Estonian novel.  There is no other explanation than that.

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