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Month in review

Reviews
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Big Hairy Drama by Aaron Reynolds
Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds
Culture is Our Business by Marshall McLuhan
Drood by Dan Simmons
Emily and the Strangers Volume 1 by Rob Reger
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached
The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop
Language and Art in the Navajo Universe by Gary Witherspoon
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye
Mad Scientist by Jennifer L. Holm
A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison
Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton
Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
Once Upon a Curse by E.D. Baker
101 Things I Hate About Your House by James Swan
The People Inside by Ray Fawkes
Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
Strange Fruit, Volume 1 by Joel Christian Gill
Unicorns? Get Real! by Kathryn Lasky
Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin
Whiteoaks of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Zombelina by Kristyn Crow

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Mr. Toppit

Mr. Toppit: 02/23/15

cover art

Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton is about the fallout of being the inspiration for a famous fictional character. Loosely based on the life of Christopher Milne and his fictional counterpart in the Winnie the Pooh books, this book follows the life and times of Luke Hayman after the death of his author father and the ways in which he can't escape being compared to his father's creation, Luke Hayseed.

The book is told from multiple points of view, namely, Luke, an American who brings the Hayseed books to California (and inadvertently makes them world famous), Luke's troubled sister who wants to know why she was never included in the books. The events of Luke's life and the explosion of his alter ego's rise in fame come out of order, though there is somewhat of a progression forward in time. This mixture of points of view and moments in time make for an unnecessarily confusing narrative.

When I read the book, I was unaware of the author's work with the Milne estate but the similarity to Christopher Milne's life is unmistakable. That said, knowing now about that connection, I find myself less pleased with the added drama (namely Arthur's violent death and the American making posthumous fame possible). These elements don't ring true and in light of the source material, there is already enough there to make a compelling character study while still being fictional.

Recommended by Metroreader

For further reading

  • The Independent (Christopher Milne's obituary)
  • USA Today
  • Wikipedia (A.A. Milne)

    Two stars

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