Book Reviews

Dougal Trump ( err…Daley!) V God Of Small Things…

god of small dougie

I wanted to love A God of Small Things. It sounds clever, it looks clever, it had great reviews – everyone I spoke to had loved it. I was going to love it. I was going to be swept into another world, my heart was going to rip in two with the terrible events in the story – I was going to come to a deeper understanding of the caste system, of the rise of communism in India – the legacy of colonialism.  The OrangeDrink LemonDrink Man was going to haunt my dreams.

For I am a Serious Reader.  I belong to book clubs. I keep Goodreads updated ( well I did before the buy out – see, I even know there was a buy out – I am an informed woman).

I stroked the lovely matt cover, turned over the first page and read….



Gosh it took a long time.

I even quite liked Velutha but…

I still wasn’t all that bothered when what happened happened.

Hmmm. Lot’s of nice scenes interspersed with a lot of other words. Boy, was it hard work. I don’t like my books being hard work. I want to fall into a world and be swept along by it, good or bad. Why didn’t that happen? What’s wrong with me? Which part of my brain is failing to connect with what is clearly a Work Of Art?

When I finished it, I ditched it with some relief and picked up Dougal Trump’s new book by Jackie Marchant.  Yeah yeah, I know, it’s a kids book. It’s got a shiny red cover and a cartoon boy on the front. I’m a middle aged woman , reading this is work OK? I wangled a review copy, I’ve got to read it and review. Got to.

Ah ha ha ha!!!

It’s hilarious.

Well constructed, fun, tightly plotted, a world I happily fell in to. The little snippets  dropped in from each character somehow,  amazingly in so few words, deftly draw Dougie’s world.  My bath water went cold as I turned page after page.

Damn it all.   I see myself as a sophisticated book club lady!  Turns out I’m harbouring an inner small boy.

Come to think of it, last time I went to actual  book club I cycled back over a field using a wind up pig torch in lieu of light and fell in a ditch when I tried to stop.

Maybe I should just give in to it?


Dougal Trump has been reborn as Dougal Daley with a new cover and a wonderful new illustrator  – highly recommended by me!!!

12 thoughts on “Dougal Trump ( err…Daley!) V God Of Small Things…”

  1. I know what you mean. Have given up on The Casual Vacancy. How could the creator of a wonderful world of magic and muggles not pull me in to her adult one by page 60?

    1. Yep – it took me until half way – but she got me in the end – I loved Casual Vacancy but it was hard work – I dont’ think I’d have finished it if it hadn’t been JK – I think that’s why I ploughed on until the end of God of Small Things – and it did kind of get better but still….

  2. Hah, thank you, Kathy! Can’t wait to tell Dougal, although he will have no idea who Arundhati Roy is. I have to admit, I loved her book, BUT can’t tell you how chuffed I am that you prefer Dougal Trump!!

  3. I feel your pain! I read NW by Zadie Smith recently. Beautifully written, but hardly anything happens. Yawn. Maybe I am too used to reading kids’ fiction, but I do love a tight plot and some immediate action.

  4. You may have an inner scamp but you’re a good grown-up woman to finish those two books – God of Small Things and Casual Vacancy, I mean.
    I love the maligned and misunderstood Dougal Trump. I’m totally on his side.

  5. I’ll take Dougal Trump any day – anything else is just too much hard work – and Dougal makes me laugh out loud! We need more scampiness and laughter in this world.

  6. I’d say well done for finishing the God of Small Things, I wouldn’t have managed it! I picked up an adult literary novel that sounded really good the other day and I couldn’t get past page two – it was all wonderful metaphors and achingly beautiful descriptions and … DAMMIT WHERE IS THE STORY! I WANT A STORY!

    (Sorry that was my inner ten-year-old there)

  7. Hi Kathryn, I am in your club also. I tried to read The Life of Pi and gave up! Unfortunately I think we’ve all been spoilt for adult literature by the exciting world of children’s and YA where every word must count and every moment must be important. I think in fact that adult books can be enormously flabby – too many words and not enough action!! Or perhaps I’m just thick? Not sure and who cares anyway as long as I’m happy?

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