Around 300 pages
This particular Land Baby had trouble sitting down to write this review. In addition to reading this novel, I have been working my way through Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. The language in that novel is so unbelievably beautiful that I now feel like a complete idiot every time I open my mouth or put pen to paper. But despite the discovery of my new suck factor, we must carry on and get to Water-Babies.
I got my hands on an absolutely gorgeous illustrated version of this novel. Although I suppose it is not too hard to find a copy of this book with pictures, since it is essentially a children's novel. Since it isn't listed in 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Die, I assumed it was going to be a fairy tale for adults. But honestly, you would have to be a child to be able to swallow all this preaching without gagging.
Our main character here is a young, extremely dirty chimney sweep named Tom who is often beaten by his master. After breaking into a young girl's house, Tom is chased by a mob to a pond, where he ultimately drowns. He then becomes a water-baby and is only allowed to become a land-baby again if he can realize the error of his ways (ie it is actually not that nice to try to break horses' legs all the time). He meets a lot of interesting creatures such as talking salmon and extremely annoying, self righteous fairies.
What can I say about Pilgrim's Progress for Kids? At least this had talking lobsters. I do enjoy fairy tales, but I hate having morals shoved down my throat. I guess anybody who names a character Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby isn't a master of subtlety.
Still, this book is good for a few cute lines and pretty pictures. Did I really just say that? This blog is really in a state of decline.
Includes many slurs against Jews, Catholics, the Irish, black people, and Americans. Well, I am glad that Kingsley insulted Americans as well so that I could be insulted too. It is nice to feel included.
Considered a satire of the moral tales often published during this era. Oh, so it was meant to be annoying? Nope, still don't get it.
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