|Kurt Gets Truckloads by Erlend Loe|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A charming, silly little fable, in the manner of David Walliams, or Dahl.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 136||Date: August 2013|
|Publisher: Gecko Press|
Meet Kurt. He's a dockyard truck-driver, with a wife and three children, and more dreams than money. The family has travelled before, but might not be able to in future, as there is just not the budget. Funnily enough, just the day after talking about what having a huge amount of money would do for and to Kurt, he gets a windfall. And then the problems start…
It's awkward to compare this book with the previous one I read from this author, as they have very different audiences. But both have a warm heart, brevity, a whimsical sense of humour, and a kindred sensibility as regards modern life. Kurt jumps on to the consumer bandwagon in a suitably naïve way, replacing what doesn't need replacing, and buying what will only get him into more and more trouble. He might think he's happy joining the rat race, but that's because he's a rat. And that's not the end of his bad decisions.
I've always relished the adult author branching out into children's literature, or otherwise producing a book way out of their normal comfort zone. But Loe was writing for this age range well before he broke into the international adult novel market, and it shows. The effortless clarity (bar the odd word such as insignificant) and highly moralistic approach are spot on. The doodle-style illustrations are great fun, especially with Kurt's handlebar moustache and huge floating question mark of hair. They match the simplicity of the writing, as well as disguise the fact it's a short piece.
With its present tense narration, lively atmosphere and handy way with a quickly-drawn character, this book is just great fun. The moral is easily read, with the way the story builds and builds into the absurd of most appeal. What it all means is that eighteen years after this was first published, we in the English-speaking world can possibly hope for more of the same from the author's back catalogue - there are several Kurt titles that we might potentially explore. As long as we don't get too giddy with the excitement…
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
Seeing as I mentioned him at the side - Billionaire Boy by David Walliams comes recommended for its fun and similar morals about money.
You can read more book reviews or buy Kurt Gets Truckloads by Erlend Loe at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Kurt Gets Truckloads by Erlend Loe at Amazon.com.
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