Mighty Fizz Chilla
by Philip Ridley (Author)
I really hate it when I don’t know whether I like a book or not! Even worse is not knowing whether the book is actually good or not.
The trouble began with the cover – I just did not get it. But my confusion did not stop there: there was the chapter layout with the numbered episodes each comprising really short pieces of writing. I really did not get this either, and it certainly did nothing to enhance the reading of the book; in fact it detracted from my being able to engage with the characters and the plot line.
That plot line itself did not merit the complex form and mixing of genres that the writer engaged in. Milo, the troubled 13-year-old main character ends up not really being that troubled at all. He is sent to his mother’s old friend, Cressida, who lives by the sea, in an effort to sort himself out. Here Cressida, Dee Dee Six and The Captain become part of a convoluted plot aimed at helping Milo deal with his past – or his present. I’m afraid that I did not get that either.
The exchanges between Cressida and Dee Dee are at times genuinely funny and always high camp. But the plot becomes completely self-indulgent to the extent that it is difficult to know what the point of the narrative is. The resolution of the plot is contrived and would appear to be a simple effort at bringing all the loose threads together.
What was really, really disappointing was the fact that as a Philip Ridley fan I found this book was just not worth the effort.