Whose Reality Is This Anyway?

merlin-500We received a pre-release galley of this book, which is something we don’t normally accept but being aware of this author’s track record, we were happy to review this one.

‘Whose Reality Is This Anyway?’ continues David Luddington’s tradition of gentle British Comedy with definite nods to Douglas Adams, PG Wodehouse and the Ealing Comedies. We follow the story of a retired stage illusionist who has become embittered and follows a personal mission of ridding the world of fake mediums, spiritualists and tricksters. So, it comes as an affront to his sceptical beliefs when he becomes entangled with a hippy who claims to Merlin.

Despite several attempts to leave the man in the hands of either the police or the mental healthcare system he ends up assisting this strange man to escape and eventually helping him on his mission, to track down the grave of King Arthur, the fictional creation of legends.

The trail is peopled with Luddington’s usual array of oddball characters and eccentrics who bring plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to the narrative. The scene in the minefield was just inspired lunacy and very, very funny. However, as with all of his books, there is always another level and here Luddington touches on the subject of identity and what it means to be different as we watch the way the mysterious man claiming to be Merlin is viewed by others and how those views change . There is also an underlying commentary on the way society fails these people through lack of resources.

Overall, I would have to rate this book as probably the funniest book of the year as once more Luddington shows his mastery of creating warm and well-rounded characters then placing them in absurd situations.