Author: Russell Brand
Narrator: Russell Brand
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: November 11, 2014
Length: Approx. 45 minutes
Genre: Fantasy, Children
Once upon a time, long ago, in a time that seemed, to those present, exactly like now except their teeth weren't so clean and more things were wooden, there was a town called Hamelin. The people of Hamelin were a pompous bunch who loved themselves and their town so much that if it were possible they would have spent all day zipped up in a space suit smelling their own farts. But space suits hadn't been invented yet so they couldn't.
Then one day without warning a gang of rats bowled into the town and began causing a right rumpus;
So begins Russell Brand's wildly funny and surprisingly wise retelling of the classic tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Whether you're a kid or a grown-up kid, you'll be chuckling the whole way through this zany story that bypasses Brand's more adult humor for the outrageous, the madcap, and the just plain silly.
Maybe you've heard about the Pied Piper before, with his strange music and those pompous townspeople and pesky rats. Or maybe you haven't. But one thing is for sure: you've never heard it quite like this.
Russell Brand is known for his offbeat and often hilarious comedy. He's written a few biographies, and now he's spreading his wings into children's tales. You've probably heard the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin sometime in your life. Whether you've watched the cartoon or read the book. Russell Brand takes on this story in his new series Russell Brand's Trickster Tales.
First let me talk about the audio part of the book. Russell Brand is the narrator as well as the author of this new series. He's fantastic. Really. Russell Brand is the only choice for this book. I couldn't imagine anyone doing a better job. His characters are just as vivacious as he is. Brand needs to narrate more books!
Next I want to talk about the art work. I listened to the audio but I went online to preview the book as well as my local bookstore to get a full picture of the book. The book is illustrated by Chris Riddell. He's illustrated many books and also is a cartoonist for The Observer. Riddell has worked on an extensive list of projects too numerous to name here. He does a fantastic job with the art. It's colorful and engaging. And a perfect fit for this book. Also the Pied Piper reminds me of that guy from A Clockwork Orange.
Now onto the story. The story isn't exactly original though Brand does liven it up a bit. It's entertaining with a few moral messages thrown in. I enjoyed listening to it, but I'd want young children to listen. In fact I struggle with for what age this book would be appropriate. It's not overly offensive or degrading, yet it deals with issues like feminism and disability thrown together with gross humor. This might go over the head of some youngsters. In fact, I would suggest kids 10+ for the reading age. I would also suggest the parents reading the book with the children (or perhaps before), as it opens up a door for discussion on certain subjects.