A whimsical, unique collection of humorous takes on nursery rhymes, talking horses and chicken-fried steak, among other topics.
Royce (The Immaculate Deception, 2012) presents a quirky collection of short stories, cartoons and anecdotes that range from silly to downright deranged. It’s certainly a short story collection like no other: In one tale, a man named Murray apparently time travels to meet Jesus, who urges him to blog about the experience; Murray later becomes Jesus’ speechwriter and falls for Mary Magdalene. Another sketch features two writers discussing the fine art of the short story while completely missing each other’s points; still another depicts one man’s search for the secret behind chicken-fried steak. What happened after the dish ran away with the spoon in the “Hey Diddle Diddle” nursery rhyme? According to Royce, they didn’t live happily ever after. There’s no shortage of puns here: One character claims to be “pro-pasti” (instead of antipasti), while another character is named Byron Poehler, of The By-Poehler Review. Royce also looks at old, creepy black-and-white postcards and gives their stern characters voices, thoughts and stories all their own. At its best, this book’s subject matter is as light and fluffy as a slice of chocolate mousse pie, and each story features concise, easily digestible prose. Royce’s eclectic collection, including song lyrics about runaway shoes, cleverly captioned cartoons about hot dogs and a short story about the last fateful days of the beloved talking horse Mr. Ed, will likely reward readers with laugher.
A wide-ranging, rollicking good collection of comedic sketches.