Saturday, 11 April 2009

My Thoughts: Mr Toppit by Charles Elton

Published this year, Charles Elton has taken the tale of Christopher Robin - the real one, not the fictional character, who felt trapped and suffered after his father created a character is his name who's fame would haunt him and cause him to become seperated from his family. Elton takes this idea and modernises it, gives it a spin.
Mr Toppit is about a dysfuntional family who come under the media spotlight years after their father's death. He dies in an accident with an American radio presenter at his side. After ambushing the family home in the days after his death, the radio presenter Laurie Clow is given copies of the Hayseed Chronicles.
The father's novels, The Hayseed Chronicles are a fairly unknown children's collection, in which the father creates a tale out of his family home, the woods behind them and names his central character after his son. Laurie Clow becomes obsessed with the family and the books and ends up reading them on her radio show once she return to the States. Eventually the books become well known, films are made, readers visit the real Darkwoods looking for Mr Toppit, a dictorial figure who's identity is never revealed in the children's books.
The popularity of the books creates problems for Luke - people assume the books are actually about him, and his elder sister who is missing from the books yet becomes obsessed with having a kind of ownership over them.
I enjoyed the book, but I think I would have enjoyed The Hayseed Chronicles more.

2009 Pub Challenge 1/9
A-Z (Authors)
999 (New Fiction)

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