THE BOOKSTORE MOUSE by Peggy Christian


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In this labored and tiresome head trip, a bookstore mouse, Cervantes, narrates not only his adventures with Sigfried, a medieval scribe singularly ill-suited to his tasks, but also his triumph over Milo, a cat at the same address. Cervantes eats into a leatherbound volume, and, in one of the most felicitous lines in the book, reports that ""the words swept around me and through me and carried me away."" This happens literally, although readers will have no sense of how until later in the book. Cervantes hooks up with Sigfried and accompanies him to save some pretentiously named troubadours (Chaucer, Barda, etc.) who have been captured by the dragon Censor; also present are Jargon the Giant and the Moralise Mountains where Censor is vanquished. Beating words into swords and asking readers in to play with them can cut two ways; the argument is not consistent and its fictional presentation is weak. Although readers (with dictionaries handy) may find themselves occasionally amused by the acrobatic wordplay, it engages the mind and not the heart.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
Page count: 125pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace