I was going to roll up and give this stupid thing two stars, which is exactly one more than it deserves from me, but when I see how low the average rating is, I'm going to get all soft and give it a pity star. This exists somewhere between the Scary Movie franchise and later Shrek movies in terms of lamely obvious puns and allusions that seek to stand in for real satire or parody. And this may be praising it with faint damns, but this book's absolute lameness is its selling point.
It's probably a sickness of the Xer set, of which I am a member, to get all verklempt over childhood nostalgia, and this rang a bunch of my nostalgic bells. I read a lot of Mad Magazine at an impressionable age, and I was impressionable precisely because I was probably two years too young for it. So much of it went directly over my head, but I was old enough to feel the whoosh as it passed, which is why I reading it in the first place. I feel like, in general, I was reading at least two years ahead of myself, but when I was old enough to get it, Mad was way too babyish for me. I feel like that is the story of my early reading life - two years ahead and at the same time two years behind. Young adult, as a category, didn't really exist back in my day - get off my lawn, kiddies - but I suspect that as a young adult, I would have eschewed the crap out of such a thing. Give me Dostoevsky so I can totally miss the point! Oh, Holden Caulfield, how I will completely misjudge you! Lolwhat, Animal Farm
? You're a thick political allegory? No way!1!!
I get the distinct impression that this book is perfectly aimed at my 9-year-old, and that he likes it as much as he does is notable - he should be two years too old for this. He's finished reading the Percy Jackson series at least twice - a thing I envy him for: his ability obsessively to reread - and when I found this in a library display, my brain went yessss. He keeps running up to me to show me the "references," as he calls the just cringe-inducing hat-tips to this and that children's literature. (He shows me the "references" in Garfield cartoons too, for the record. Look! Odie dressed up as Calvin! Oh, buuuuurrrrrrn, Calvin and Hobbes!) I'm enough of a critical weirdo to keep saying stuff like, "You know, simply referencing something does not a parody make," but realistically, I'm only saying stuff like this to hear myself speak. My cranky old-talk isn't going to poke a pin in his enjoyment. He doesn't give a care beyond exercising his reading prowess - omg, I recognize you, and you, and you - and god bless his little heart for that. So four stars, crappy kids' "parody" comic. Anyone over the age of ten is not allowed in the clubhouse, but if you're in the clubhouse, it's a durn fine time.
(And, of course, there's a bunch more of these crap books out there, including such titles as [b:The Hunger Pains: A Parody|13031445|The Hunger Pains A Parody|The Harvard Lampoon|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344395623s/13031445.jpg|18194783] and [b:Papercutz Slices #1: Harry Potty and the Deathly Boring|7739853|Papercutz Slices #1 Harry Potty and the Deathly Boring|Stefan Petrucha|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316728834s/7739853.jpg|10545470]. So, you're welcome.)