An extract from my review HERE.
“‘When I go to Parliament,’ said Jenny, ‘I’ll abolish clouds. And I’ll live on cakes and peanuts! And when I’m full, I’ll jump up and down until I’m sick and start eating again!‘”
The older I get, the odder. But never as creatively and constructively and dyslogically odd as Rhys Hughes or, at least, Rhys Hughes’ work. This is genuinely one of his greater pieces (and quite different from, if the same as, most of the other works I’ve read of his); good job! It takes up about 30 pages of this Journal. Worth every page. It starts off with Jenny as a wonderful new take on Jane Turpin (by Evadne Price), a young girl version of Richmal Crompton’s ‘Just William’, but better. And it evolves into a major satiric, Lewis-Carrollian ironic-fantasy: absurdist, hootingly funny, with at least half serious undercurrents about Parliament and voting, and power, and monarchy, and the Middle Class, and Machiavelli: with so many wonderful new Rhys-Hughesian conceits: eg: Alky / Alchemist, Jingo /Bingo, buying years for the amount of their numerical ‘name’: with all manner of larger-than-life characters and references like the one to the Guy who tried to blow up Parliament: and Whovian statue-blinks, Whovian mayhem in Westminster, slime things underground etc. Even a version of Facebook for Dictators. And much much more. The prose is plain and short-paragraphed (not usually to my taste), but the ideas scintillate. And it’s thought-provoking, too, if you have any thoughts to be provoked. It even has childish conceits, to go with the more clever ones, like not finding any kangaroos in a kangaroo court. And the ending is not bathetic. It’s almost touching.