Volume 95, Issue 41

Wednesday, November 14, 2001
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10 years later and Sloan's still Pretty Together

Outside the Box

By Divine Right spreads love across universe

Disc of the Week

Outside the Box

Mungo City

By Rutiger Knox

Flanker Press

Canadian author Rutiger Knox's first book, Mungo City, is a unique, laugh-out-loud success.

In his novel about globalization, Knox paints an image of a world in which corporations have taken over cities and everyone has choices: give in and share in the prosperity (because, after all it could be worse) or protest and get sent to The Abyss™.

The story follows the incredibly stupid, but entirely hilarious Jimmy Doodle. Oblivious to almost everything that transpires around him, Doodle gets tangled in a vicious web of corruption and, inexplicably, hot chocolate.

The plot begins as Hector Bradshaw decides to quit school and live in The Woods™. The Woods™ is a unique place because it is a forest – something despised by those in the corporate world.

Many retreat there to either get away for a weekend or live and philosophize about life. Doodle decides to follow his friend Bradshaw and move into The Woods™.

Unfortunately, in this corporate world, everyone is given one chance and if they blow it, there is nothing they can do to redeem themselves. The only alternative is visiting a group called the Mungo City Life Unscrewers, who do nothing but rub other people's mistakes in their faces before sending them on their miserable way.

After Doodle's visit with the Mungo City Life Unscrewers, the plot takes a number of twists and turns and the rollercoaster ride builds, rushes off and never settles down until the story's conclusion.

Mungo City is an enjoyable read that's difficult to put down. The sheer hilarity of the unique situations will undoubtedly have readers laughing out-loud.

The pictures that Knox creates, although complex, are clear and not that far-fetched.

Highlighting Knox's writing style is his use of Douglas Adams-style comedy. Similarities include the use of short chapters, repetitive character descriptions and an overly satirical view on life.

However, Knox infuses the novel with his own originality and, thus, gives these features his own personal touch. This entertaining novel is highlighted by his colourful characters, each one stranger than the last.

Most university students are forced to read dry texts and end up with no real appetite for leisure reading. But once in awhile, a book comes along that re-inspires a love for printed entertainment and Mungo City is precisely that book.

–Dale Wyatt

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