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Fungus the Bogeyman

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And it is was a revelation to discover that even the sublimely happy Fungus was not above an attack of existential angst . This sort-of-picture-book-sort-of-graphic-novel acts as a travelogue of "Bogeydom", taking the surface-dwelling "dry cleaner" reader into the world of those creatures that go bump in the night. My teacher used to hate it when the class was reading (non-school) books and he'd see this well-worn tome on my desk. He travels through Bogeydom and into our world every night to go about his job of rattling doorknobs, waking babies, and causing boils to erupt on unsuspecting sleepers.

Bogeydom is not a place I would particularly like to visit, but I am glad I am aware of it, and that while reading about its goings-on my dinner, and sense of humour, remained intact. I debated giving it five stars, but there are one or two Briggs books I like even better ( The Snowman and When the Wind Blows, if you were wondering, and even if you weren't), so I held off, no doubt being unforgivably parsimonious with my stars.Life in Bogeydom is full of snot, smells, slime, scum and other unspeakable things, and Bogeymen live under the ground revelling in allthe nastiness imaginable. The story follows one day in the life of this fabulous character, a working class Bogeyman with the mundane job of scaring human beings. I actually couldn't bear to read past the sixth page or so, once I realized that it was just a way-too-wordy Bizzaro Superman-style reversal of everything in polite society. Through the richly-detailed pages, contrasts and parallels are revealed between the gentle, disgusting Bogeys, and humans.

Fungus the Bogeyman is a lovingly created work of art, with as much care and thought in the words as in the images. On this night, he startles a vicar, a woman in her bath, and stinks out a couple’s bedroom using his Bogey umbilical cord. I had been wanting to read this for years and finally bought it last year but I was so disappointed in it! It follows one day in the life of the title character, a working class Bogeyman with the mundane job of scaring human beings.Fungus goes to work up where the ‘drycleaners’ live, traelling very slowly on his flat wheeled bike. It is a hugely entertaining read from start to finish, chronicling the life of Fungus and his grotesque environment.

It tells of how Jessica, a human teenager, finds her way into Bogeydom and meets Fungus and his family. Initially published in 1977, Fungus the Bogeyman follows one day in the life of the title character, a working class Bogeyman with the mundane job of scaring human beings. A charming first edition of this delightful pop up book, by much loved author of The Snowman, Raymond Briggs. Combine that rudimentary appeal with a very adult level of punning and an endearing melancholy and you have Fungus. When the Wind Blows (1982) confronted the trusting, optimistic Bloggs couple with the horror of nuclear war, and was praised in the British House of Commons for its timeliness and originality.

So it's a wonderful, hilarious and elaborate pop-up book full of Slime and Muck, and if it could smell would really stink! His favored brand of aftershave is "Old Mice", he eats flaked corns for breakfast, and he's read both Stinks I Have Made and The Great Unwashed. And although I do believe that especially boys will likely and perhaps even definitely enjoy much of the presented text and be especially captivated with and by the at times rather disgusting, overtly ribald potty-type humour, I do not necessarily think that they will all that easily understand all or even most of the more sophisticated allusions, parodies and such (and I equally do warn parents who are considering reading Fungus the Bogeyman with or to their children to actually consider at least skimming the entire book before using it for their little ones just to make certain that they themselves do not end up with both narrative and illustrative surprises they might personally consider inappropriate). The topic was inspired after Briggs watched a Panorama documentary on nuclear contingency planning, and the dense format of the page was inspired by a Swiss publisher's miniature version of Father Christmas.

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