Prufrock's Page

Friday, July 15, 2005

Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed

This one's for fans of Jasper Fforde's delightful series of books featuring literary detective Thursday Next, who enters classic works of fiction and interacts with their characters. (Somewhat like a loopier sci-fi version of the scenario in Woody Allen's 'The Kugelmass Episode'.)

Fforde has a new book out, entitled The Big Over Easy, and it deals with the murder of Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III. As icBerkshire informs us:

"The Big Over Easy takes place one Easter in Reading - an understandably nerve-racking time for eggs. Minor baronet, and former millionaire Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, but the plot thickens as Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his sidekick, Constable Mary Mary, get tangled up in a world of cross-border money laundering, bullion smuggling, problems with titans seeking asylum, and the cut and thrust world of, erm, chiropody."

Silly? Well:

" 'I think I've always been a bit silly,' the author confesses, 'I like a certain brand of humour - Lewis Carroll, Monty Python. It's all very silly, but played absolutely straight. Like with Alice, what else would you expect from a caterpillar sitting on a mushroom, but for him to give advice?'

" 'It's always struck me, whatever happened to Humpty to make him fall off the wall? These are stories that we're given as children and just accept, but I was always questioning them. 'The three bears,' he suddenly adds. 'Why did they sleep in separate beds? Was there another bear involved?' "

What next, an adult version of 'Little Red Riding Hood'? Oh wait, Angela Carter's already done that.

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