Turning the virginal pages of a fresh new book and being greeted by the opening lines “CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. Mmmmm, mmmm. Crunch crunch crunch” does not lead one to expect an Austen or a Bronte. But by the end of the page it is clear that this is book in a world of its own, quite literally.
When you are as handsome as Captain Jim Wedderburn everything else seems irrelevant, friends, money, health; all insignificant when you can get by on looks alone. It’s not until rival gangs begin to target Captain Jim as an unlikely hero that he twigs, not all is as it should be with London, Dream London is taking over and it is as mad as a box of frogs.
Captain Jim is commissioned to unearth the truth behind Dream London.
Nothing remains the same from one day to the next, towers grow taller over night, parks wither and hide, popular tourist attractions change in appearance and location and the people don’t even seem human anymore.
Jim foolishly relies on his charm and charisma to play one gang off against the other believing that he is in control and one step ahead, but Dream London has other ideas and before long Jim is knee deep in it!
Tony Ballantyne’s latest offering is quite literally bonkers, a world that would even mess with the mind of the weird and wonderful Terry Gilliam. As well as the freaky geographical changes there is an array of equally freaky supporting characters to keep Captain Jim on the run. A particular stand out is the potty-mouthed six-year-old girl who hilariously shouts profanities and threatens Jim with all sorts of obscenities.
Somewhere amongst the crazy pages of Dream London there is a message and a journey of self discovery, however, a word to the wise, don’t even try and second guess what is going on, just enjoy the ride.