I downloaded this as a free read from Audible, so I can't really complain that I didn't particularly enjoy it, but I did feel that these stories were inferior to those that I listened to in series 1 and 2 (also a free download from Audible).
Each of the five stories in Crackanory Too Cracked for TV was about 15 minutes long and each had a different narrator.
Most of the narrators were excellent, although one read too fast and rather swallowed her words.
The stories, 'Kill Phil', 'Mummy Business', 'The Character Assassin', 'The Egg That Knew Too Much' and 'The IT Man', all seemed to me to be trying too hard to be clever. Frequently a sentence would be over complicated with facetious asides that I found annoying. I guess it's a British humour thing and I've been out of the country for too long. Still, they were good to divert me from the stress of driving and as free audiobooks, they are a bargain.
Every child is enchanted by the idea of the circus at some point in their young life. For me, this began with the story of Toby Tyler, by James Otis, alternately titled Ten Weeks with a Circus. The story was also made into a movie called Toby Tyler as well as a radio dramatisation.
As I became an adult, I learned that the way animals were treated in the real life circus could be brutal at times and the big cats, whom I loved most, spent their lives in cages the size of a train car. Circuses are actually not legally allowed to keep animals in the UK. So, for me, the magic of the circus is relegated to fantasy; to the world of books.
While fiction satisfies my fascination with life behind the scenes of the circus, some non-fiction books are also very interesting, relating what this life was really like in the days when there was no regulation to speak of to keep the activities of circus folk completely legal. While circus is primarily a performance profession, there was a time when 'hooch tents' and violations of prohibition played a significant role on the seedy side of traveling entertainment.
Some stories relate this side of circus life as openly as the non-fiction books, like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The author did her research well and many incidents, including a very amusing situation involving an elephant stealing lemonade, came from real anecdotes from circus people. There are some sad incidents concerning animals in the annals of real circus life as well, but these I try to avoid.
Circus books are my fantasy circus, where animals are never mistreated and it's all about the magic of entertainment. I am, however, fussy about authors doing their research properly. I have an aunt who traveled with the carnival in her youth and she taught me the differences between the circus and the carnival. A fast way to get me to abandon a book is to write in a carnival setting and mention a Big Top or to refer to circus people as Carnies.
These worlds have a few things in common, but distinct differences. I loved how Stephen King got around all that in Joyland by setting the story in an amusement park owned by someone who had worked for both the circus and the carnival sometime in his past.
I recently found another book by James Otis on Amazon, Mr. Stubb's Brother, A Sequel to Toby Tyler. It was even free! Naturally this is high on my tbr, but I want to re-read Toby Tyler again first. These circus stories bring out my inner child and for just a little while, allow me to enter a world where it's all about the magic.
*Hate Rant Ahead*
Why did I pick this up? Ok, so I may have a little love to hate relationship with HAIR. After several reads in the past *cough cough Saving Samuel and Captive Prince*… where at a certain point all you notice are the references to hair. Whether this be the constant references to color, length, the need to rub your hands through it, wash it, comb it, perm it. Gawd...
And with these reads, specifically Saving Samuel…these awful moments can also make for some of the most fun BRs ever. So yeah…Teri and I ventured in to this with one goal…
I mean look at this cover!
HAIR, people, HAIR!!!
Flowing red hair touched down to the man’s waist, swishing back and forth as he moved seductively toward them.
This should have kept us entertained, dammit!!
Now, we did get a few moments of swishing and images of the hair spread on the bed…but that’s it!!
There was no washing, no combing, no perming, no braiding…no NOTHING!!
shall we move on?
The relationship. Well to say this might be the fastest I have seen two people come together would be an understatement.
Radisq had already grown bored, monotonously greeting all the nobles as they stepped up to him. With the exception of Ilno keeping him company, he was still anxious about the party and thus unable to enjoy it. Even still, he had been raised to be gracious at all times thus absentmindedly performing his duty as a host. But the moment hair the color of flame and eyes the shape of almonds caught his attention, boredom had quickly vanished.
Unable to control himself or stop, Radisq flew into Aaeren’s arms and slammed his mouth against the other man’s, groaning as he tasted heaven. For a minute, Aaeren was held immobile by surprise, but soon he wrapped his arms around the young Water prince and drove his tongue into the sweet, moist heat awaiting his pleasure. Radisq wrapped his legs around Aaeren’s waist and dug his fingers into Aaeren’s hair, displacing the decorations holding the other man’s hair back. Radisq barely registered the silky texture of Aaeren’s hair as it sifted through his fingers, moaning at the explosive taste that washed all over him. Never had he had such a reaction to anyone before and never had he forgotten his surroundings, consumed by the presence of one person.
Yep…now mind you there was a WHOLE PAGE between these two paragraphs…so it wasn’t immediate. BWAHAHAHA
And he had to be pried off of him!! I mean this is pretty damn funny and I pee’d my pants a few times for sure.
Then we learn that these two are now to be mated and journey off for the “matingmoon” trip to the various kingdoms. While traveling, idiot boy (humper) learns he is pregnant.
MPREG?? THIS IS MPREG?? PLEASE NO!!! (and this may be sexist or wrong…but I would have figured the MC portrayed with that vast amount of woman’s hair on the cover would be the one to bear this burden…and yet…NOPE.)
After this scary revelation the book went downhill fast. Not only because, my gawd, if we lose our MPREG cherry on this, I might not recover, but NOTHING HAPPENED!!
A book that in the first 25% was rather hilarious and entertaining, soon turned to pages of nonsense. And the writing…
Snuggling into his mate, Radisq let one of his legs slip into Aaeren’s and shimmied around until he settled into a comfortable position.
I am still not sure what he slipped his leg “into”.
A matingmoon trip cut short due to the death of the King and a new crowning of our MC and this book be over. Well…all that took about 50 more pages…so yeah. Thankfully we did not endure the birth of the “babe”!
Oh and let’s not forget that our MC’s are horny…and most of the interactions left us alarmed and not at all satisfied.
Aaeren had quickly quelled those fears by making love to him. In fact, everyone around them had learned to note the signs when the couples were about to get it on and flee whatever room they were occupying at the time.
On several occasions, Radisq had come to find his mate in a meeting with his advisors only for the meeting to be cut short and the advisors vacating at the speed of lightning. One time, they had not been quick enough and had almost gotten a show from their king.
As it turned out, neither of the two cared about whether or not they had an audience.
Well…we did survive and thankfully finished without calling this a DNF…but this was bad. Like really bad. Totally not what I wanted at all.
Oh and I failed to mentioned the lack of veil and the appearance of flame throwing superpowers at 95%.