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McDuff’s Wild Romp (2005): Mind the Furniture, Honey

Rosemary Wells, McDuff’s Wild Romp (Hyperion, 2005)


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I couldn’t find Gahan Wilson’s delightful “wild haggis romp” cartoon online, so the book cover will have to do.

McDuff’s Wild Romp was the first of the McDuff books we read, and for some reason it’s the last one I ended up writing a review for. McDuff’s family heads to the home of a relative for Sunday dinner, where McDuff meets, and takes an instant dislike to, the family cat; chaos ensues when the mischievous baby tempts the animals with turkey tidbits. There are two ways to write scenes of chaos; one way involves making sure everything is clear to the reader, while still conveying the chaotic feeling with pace, imagery, that sort of thing. It’s a bit difficult to do, but rewarding when it works. The other way to do it is to abandon structure and just revel in the chaos. Wells takes that tack here for the big animal battle. I can’t say whether the Bean would have found the first way more effective. I would have. Still, it’s not the worst of the bunch, and hey, if you like turkey tidbits, you can certainly identify with the main characters. ** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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