Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book review: Mr. Toppit

Elton, Charles. Mr. Toppit. New York: Other Press, 2010.

This book plays off the legendary antipathy real-life sons of authors who use them in children's fiction to weave an improbable but engaging tale of wild success and painful loss. Luke Hayward's father wrote a series of books about a boy named Luke Hayseed, and when his father is mortally wounded by a truck, it touches off a chain of events that catapults the Haywards and an American named Laurie into an unwanted fame shadowed by past tragedies. The narrative travels back and forth in time, and the plots and mysteries keep the reader interested despite the passive main character. And who is Mr. Toppit anyway? You don't want him to show up.

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