Wednesday, October 1, 2014


PinocchioPinocchio by Winshluss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The other day, at a reading of my novel, Heraclix & Pomp, I was approached by a reader who asked if the book was a children's book. My response was "only if you want to traumatize the child".

I'd like to repeat that same warning about Winshluss's Pinocchio this is not, Not, NOT a children's book! Au contraire, it is very much an adult book. Do not let children crack its pages, as their innocence will flee and never come back. Clear? OK.

This is a corruption clever re-telling of the horrors of the world and mankind's perversities the classic tale of Pinocchio. The artwork is most reminiscent of Robert Crumb's, et al, underground comix of the '60s and '70s. The cynicism is also in the same vein. But there's a lot less reefer and a little more playfulness in these stories within an overall story. Take, for instance, the Jimminy Cockroach subplot, showing the domestic concerns of the insect that inhabits Pinocchio's metal head (oh, did I not mention that Pinocchio is, in reality, a super-killer-robot? My bad.): The style in these subplots and the humor, remind me a great deal of Tony Millionaire's Maakies, but even a touch darker (yes, it's possible). Jimminy is despicable, but somehow Winschluss makes him almost lovable, for a time, anyway. And the blind-beggar turned apocalyptic messiah, while not quite adorable, has his moments of optimism . . . which quickly morph into maniacal plots to destroy large swaths of humanity.

So, if you can handle dark humor, and I mean *very* dark humor, Winschluss's Pinocchio is a . . . "fun" isn't the first word to come to mind, but I'll use it anyway . . . yes, fun read.

But don't say I didn't warn you about this not being a children's book. If you're going to have it in your collection at home, and there is the possibility of a child, any child, spotting the spine of this book through your window, you'd best top-shelf it and get yourself a security system. You do not want to be liable for the damages!

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