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Fungus the Bogeyman

Fungus the Bogeyman

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But that all being said, the constant and continuously recurring anally, body fluid and excretions based humour does tend to feel and become rather overly exaggerated and overused (even to the point of wearing more than a bit thin and thus no longer even being all that humorous to and for me, and mostly like a buzzing mosquito, somewhat annoying and recurringly tedious). There will probably be words that a young child will not know such as ‘pullulate’ (regarding Fungus’s underwear), and ‘horripilation’ (lady in the tub) but that is half the joy of this book - discovering new words for noxious stuffs and effects. Briggs' use of language and play on words is masterful, although I did have to look up quaquaversal - "dipping from a centre toward all points of the compass". The book is also wonderfully illustrated, it helps convey to the reader the life of the bogeyman, his habits, family life, house, garden and social life.

She reassures him and we are shown that bogeyman, disgusting as they are potrayed in this book, still possess the strongest human emotion, love. He is a bogeyman who goes to the surface each night to cause havoc (literally: things that go bump on the night). The story, such as it is, follows a day in the life of the eponymous Fungus, a hard-working Bogeyman who is going through an existential midlife crisis, questioning both his purpose and the system in which he works.As an adult, it's funny, but it feels strange for a kid's book, and I imagine that it would go right over the heads of younger readers. I had been wanting to read this for years and finally bought it last year but I was so disappointed in it! The book is set out into panels and large blocks of text, with Briggs' signature style of illustration. When it came out the general public were shocked at the scatological humour, which is now standard in children's literature, but it no longer has that impact.

Amongst the information given about their lifestyle there is also a more typical storyline where Fungus wakes up, washes (in slime) and cycles to work where he ponders his role in society and the purpose of his existence! A stage production, based on the book, was performed at artsdepot in North London between November 2007 and August 2008. Briggs says that he invented Fungus, ‘to show the petty nastiness of life — slime and spit and dandruff, all this awful stuff which is slightly funny because it detracts from human dignity and our pretensions.

This book is in good condition with some rubbing to the corners and scratches to the laminate on the front and back cover.

Through the richly-detailed pages, contrasts and parallels are revealed between the gentle, disgusting Bogeys, and humans. This is a delightful, eccentric book, the sort of book that genuinely IS all-ages, a claim often made but rarely merited. Skip forward [mumble mumble] years -- yes, that many -- and I've just found the very same book hiding in a forgotten, dusty stack at my parent's house. Instead we are left with this dense and contemplative literary work that doesn't talk down to children but rather treats them as intelligent readers and throws in references to the likes of John Milton, Alfred Tennyson, William Oldys, Thomas Carlyle and John Donne.Well, I tried re-reading this ‘comic book’ again; but very rapidly made up my mind that whatever might have once appealed to me now definitely doesn’t. Over a period of decades, a number of attempts were made to make a film from the book, which was difficult given its lack of an actual plot. Kids will delight in the grossness, the often groanworthy but always delightful puns, and the wonderfully detailed art.

However, Briggs continued to produce humour for children, in works such as the Unlucky Wally series and The Bear. And it is was a revelation to discover that even the sublimely happy Fungus was not above an attack of existential angst .It’s great and horrible fun for adults and kids alike – with brilliant illustrations throughout as you’d expect. Raymond Briggs at his very best – Fungus the Bogeyman is a delightfully, lovely story in all its disgustingly noxious glory.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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