THE FORBIDDEN FOREST by William Pène du Bois


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A delightful, meticulous, ever-so-sly period piece about a trio known as ""The Stoppers of the Great War"": a boxer named Spider Max, a bulldog named Buckingham (formerly Kaiser), and an elegantly dressed kangaroo named Lady Adelaide. The elaborate course of events cannot be encapsulated, but briefly it involves the stranding of boxing partners Max and Adelaide in Germany at the outbreak of World War I, their restaurant altercation with an ugly German officer (commander, till then, of poor spit-turning Kaiser), and Adelaide's revenge in the Forbidden Forest where her slingshot sets off the Big Bertha (""biggest cannon in history""), airborne machine guns, and ""the world's biggest ammunition dump""--all German--in an earth-shattering destruction of the weapons of destruction. (Her later escape from a German firing squad is an ever better trick.) Du Bois' faithful, charmingly documented reporting and his loving visual recreations will leave you utterly convinced that not only was there a boxing kangaroo named Lady Adelaide who had a cannon shell, a hit song, and a popular dance named after her, but that this little-known historical event happened exactly the way he says it did.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row