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The Funnies by Paul A Mendelson

The Blurb:

Can you imagine growing up without a sense of humour? In Marius K's country everyone has their sense of humour removed at birth. Everyone? Uh huh. Except for Marius K. And, of course, The Funnies. The Funnies?? People who somehow escaped the zappers and fled into the forest. Determined to keep humour alive! Some job! Will Marius K find them or will the scarifying Fun Police find him first? Who??? It's funny what people think of The Funnies: An exciting and very funny children's tale (with an Orwellian subtext that will keep adults intrigued too). David Lister, The Independent Very funny." Jim Smith, Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning author of Barry Loser Makes you laugh and think at the same time. Kate Wiseman, Best-selling author of the Gangster School novels "Highly original. So many levels. It makes you laugh and it makes you think!" Sarah Brook, Independent bookseller "Engaging. Intriguing. Likeable. A really fun read." Jennifer Killick, Best-selling author of the Alex Sparrow novels "A great novel... combines humour and adventure whilst making you think about the importance of joy and laughter!" Robyn Wilson-Owen, Children's Book Illustrator and author of No Longer Alone

About Paul A Mendelson:

Paul A. Mendelson is unusual in that he has never been a lumberjack or a coal-heaver. He began working-life, after Cambridge, as a trainee solicitor. One particular case caused him abruptly to change direction and he spent several happy years writing commercials for everything from Heinz Spaghetti to Don't Drink and Drive. A chance meeting with the legendary film director Nic Roeg and undisputed Queen of drama Verity Lambert soon persuaded him that 30-minutes was more fun than 30-seconds. His first BBC comedy series 'May to December' ran for six series and won him his first BAFTA nomination. He followed this with the hugely popular 'So Haunt Me' and his biggest hit 'My Hero', starring Ardal O'Hanlon as the hapless Thermoman. Paul also writes acclaimed drama ('Losing It' - Martin Clunes - ITV) and many original plays and dramatisations for BBC Radio 4. ('The African Queen' starring Toby Jones). He is currently developing several feature films. His first novel 'In the Matter of Isabel', inspired by the legal case that changed his career, has been widely praised. ('A wonderfully funny debut novel' David Lister, The Independent). It was bought by a major Hollywood producer within a week of publication. His scripted version now has an A-list cast and director attached. His first novel for children 'Losing Arthur' (Funny, exciting, a wellspring of imagination' Jamie Rix. 'Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids') is in development with a Hollywood animation studio. His second novel for children 'The Funnies' will be published February 2020. Paul's most recent novel 'A Meeting in Seville', was inspired by his and his wife's return exactly thirty years later to the very place they honeymooned. He wondered - what if we meet our younger, honeymooning selves here? The rest is - well, not history. But romance, intrigue, magic and mystery. Paul's latest book 'The Art of Listening' is a collection of novellas and short stories, each briefly prefaced by the inspiration that sparked it. Every reader and reviewer so far has called it 'laugh out loud funny' but also 'Compelling' (The Independent) and touching and surprising. Paul is married and lives in North London. He has two daughters and four grandchildren and is perpetually exhausted.

My Review:

The most successful children's books have triumphed because of their appeal to adults of all ages. In this respect 'The Funnies' by Paul A Mendelson fits the bill. There are shades of George Orwell, William Golding and Roald Dahl, within this dystopian tale where a whole country has been physically subjected to having their sense of humour zapped from their brain. The zapper, a laser that was designed to disable the humour region of the brain, missed it's target with the boy Marius K., and removed his sense of smell by mistake. The young Marius eventually escapes to the woods after believing he had been reported to the Fun Police (FP's), where he joins a bunch of renegades who call themselves the Funnies. This is a tale of rebellion, told with lots of laugh-out-loud humour and a surprising ending. It had me smiling and also very philosophical about the value and uplifting effect of humour for society to function properly. I highly recommend this book for all children aged between nine and ninety.

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