A Punch Line
This is written by IM Kidding (clearly a pseudonym for Punch himself) and begins with Punch’s manic hello. From that moment it doesn’t let up. You just need to go along with Punch and those he talks too as he explains his history and discusses (often rudely) about those he met.
It takes a while to engage with the narrative as it is a non traditional format, but it is so worth the effort. Punch is vivid and you learn how and who found him, brought him to the stage and why. It is a deeply engaging story and trying to have a conversation with Punch is like trying to catch a Willow O Wisp who will smack you on the nose at every opportunity. I have never read such an engaging and interesting historical biography, it is a fantastic satirical romp through history. Filled with wry observations and wonderful characters. The conversations between the characters never once makes you step outside the world of Punch and his family. No mean feat under the circumstances.
It’s easy to dismiss this, thinking it’s for children, because it’s Punch but is he ever really for children? Does he not reflect our own values and habits, usually the darker ones? We must not forget that Punch is a mirror created to reflect the feudal world from centuries ago and finally brought to the English seaside during a time of war and chaos within living memory. His is tool of the satirist and this book explores that with great intelligence, humour and cunning, much like Punch himself…