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Rhyme Stew, by Roald Dahl

Second verse of third poem:
I was running the tombola
At our church bazaar today
And doing it with gusto
In my usual jolly way...
...and shortly afterward the narrator gets groped by the vicar, because sexual assault is funny.

A collection of poems by Dahl, ostensibly for children. The longer poems, which are subversions of well-known stories - Dick Whittington, the Tortoise and the Hare, the Emperor's New Clothes, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Hansel and Gretel and Aladdin - are generally much better than the short ones which seem too often to be doggerel encoding a club-room joke, usually missing the mark of good taste (let alone appeal to the target audience). It is perhaps a product of a different time (though published in 1989 when things were surely already changing).

This was the shortest book on my shelves acquired in 2010. Next in that ranking is a Dutch translation of an Italian children's book, De piraten van de Zilveren Kattenklauw, supposedly by the heroic mouse protagonist Geronimo Stilton.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
huskyteer
Jan. 19th, 2017 08:11 am (UTC)
The one that starts 'A woman who my mother knows / Came in and took off all her clothes' used to make me laugh like a hyena, though in hindsight it's not very suitable.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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