Our story begins with pure, unadulterated hunger. A hunger for food, of course, but perhaps a deeper hunger, for life, love, growth. A feeling that resounds with us all; of never being full.
The character development in this tale is certainly something of note, as we follow our protagonist through a dramatic week, he grows more and more each day. Not to give any spoilers of course, but after a particularly harrowing incident, we begin to see what our hero is truly made of – who he really is inside.
It’s safe to say that this is an utterly un-put-downable read. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to cook a 3 course meal in the middle of it. It has the perfect mix of drama, suspense, adventure, humour and the potential for romance. Some have called it ‘The best book of our generation’. Those people are underestimating its brilliance. The ending alone is nothing short of beautiful and leaves the story open ended for the action-packed sequel that cult fans are still holding out for! Perhaps I am the only one here, but I imagine the main character as Michael Cera in the movie? Or maybe even the stage show as I feel it could really lend itself to an intricate set, on the Globe Theatre.
No book is perfect, of course, and even this masterpiece has a few flaws. I find it difficult to work out exactly where this is set, and there do seem to be a few geographical inconsistencies which have the potential to remove the reader from the story at times. Our main guy is also someone of very few words, the strong silent type, leaving us to question his motives, his every thought and feeling. This is not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but I would like to hear a bit more first person narrative, to connect with the realities of life living in the wrong body.
Although it is quite a short read, it is important to give yourself some time to digest the raw emotion that comes with reading a story such as this. Once in a lifetime, a book comes along that affects your very soul. Rips a whole in your heart and changes your outlook on life entirely. For me, that is this book. That’s why The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is my favourite ever book.
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