Friday, 10 August 2007
These animals ain't cute!
I've been reading a remarkable little book - 'Each Day a Small Victory' by Chips Hardy. It's a kind of cute animal tale with a twist - it ain't cute! Far from it. This is anthropomorphic nature red in tooth and claw, with a twist of black humour.
The anti-hero of the book, Max, is a stoat whose only aim in life is to find his next meal, while avoiding becoming someone else's. In that sense, it's the most honest animal story I've ever come across, and it's a great read.
Chips clearly knows his countryside very well indeed - there is plenty of detail about the various animal characters and their habits. Apparently he is a British Comedy Award winner, and has produced and written for TV and theatre. I'm planning to interview him shortly - should be fascinating!
The book has some stunning illustrations (above) by Oscar Grillo, who has worked on Monsters Inc and Men in Black, among others.
The publisher's blurb says this book spearheads a new genre in literature, which they're calling 'rural noir'. I suspect it could prove to be a one-off. Either way it's set to become a classic. Read it. Just don't give it to any sensitive young nieces or nephews unless you know what you're doing!
'Each Day a Small Victory' by Chips Hardy. Published by Can of Worms Press, hardback, £12.99. (See the comment on this post for a link to the publisher's website).