Gongleshanks review of The Slipkin Papers by Paul Morgan

Firstly I do not believe that this is a true story. Trust me on this, not being one to accept things at face value I did some research and quickly discovered some major flaws in the tale. For one thing there is not and never has been anyone by the name of Mr. Redhead working at London zoo. Neither could I find any evidence of a Mr Holyoak having blown himself up in a garden shed.

The text is scattered with such inaccuracies throughout and so for the purpose of this review I will have to assume that the account of Mr Slipkin is a fictional one.

I could not put this book down; I wish Helga Von Clapp would learn to replace the cap on the superglue.

We are all aware that there is a fine line between madness and genius but I can’t decide which side of the line Paul Morgan belongs. The subject matter is so surreal it couldn’t even fall into the category of ‘Pythonesque’ Indeed a brand new category would have to be invented for this book to be filed under….. Morganesque maybe?

I found the book to be very amusing from the off.. Here is an extract from chapter one to give you a flavour of the writing:

He had a heated argument with the lady at the ticket office at Pimlico Tube station about the rules concerning the use of the Underground by penguins. There weren’t any, so in the end after asking a few questions about the penguin’s likely age, she had given it a child’s ticket.

Despite being obviously barking mad the author has a great command of the English language and the book is well written and clearly well researched. Morgan has a gift for evoking clear pictures in the mind of the reader with his use of descriptive language:

Rolling thunderclouds had trundled in from the West, swallowing the sky, so that he felt like he was driving into an unmade bed.

He also has an eye for detail when observing the little idiosyncrasies that people have when speaking. Many of the ‘characters’ that Slipkin meets throughout his journey will be familiar to the reader and can easily be identified from their individual speech characteristics which have been captured magnificently by the author.

One slight criticism I have is that I found Churchill’s ‘Ahs’ and ‘Ums’ to be a little bit irritating after a while. For me they stopped the smooth flow of the text but that is just my personal opinion.

I don’t suppose The Slipkin Papers’ will suit everyone but it appealed to my quirky sense of humour. I found myself smiling and chuckling at regular intervals and occasionally laughing out loud. It is well written, quirky, fun and I highly recommend it.

Can I have my tenner now please Paul?


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