Book Review 13 – The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams (Aged 2 1/4) by Katie Kirby

Are you human? Then you’ll like this book. No further comment needed. End of review.

Oh OK, you want me to sell it to you. Well to do that I need to start with a story. There is a point to this so bear with me… Once upon a time, back when the movie The Hangover came out a friend of ours told me and hubby that it was the funniest film she had seen in her entire life. She had been rolling on the floor laughing, she had tears of mirth drenching her face. Her cheeks ached from laughing, her sides ached from laughing, she very nearly hyperventilated and died from laughing. The stage was set. The expectations were insanely high. We watched The Hangover. We giggled at parts and then we declared that *whispers* ‘it wasn’t that funny.’

It was so funny I literally died!

So what happened? Did our friend get it wrong? Did she just have some quirky sense of humour that we didn’t share? No. We genuinely enjoyed it. It was just that the bar had been set too high. When someone tells you that you are in for the most rip rollicking  time of your life then you expect dancing flamingos to leap out of the screen. You expect maltesers to rain down on you while you watch. You expect £50 notes to start growing out of your carpet. You expect, quite frankly, too much. No-one and nothing can meet those kinds of expectations.  Not The Hangover and not ‘The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams Aged 2 1/4’. Since then hubby and I refer to anything where the expectations are set too high as “being Hangovered” and I am wary of “Hangovering” you because I loved this book so much. I just loved it.

The story is told in diary format through the eyes of the precocious toddler himself. Archie is your typical put-upon child. His parents expect him to do unreasonable things such as not wake up at an hour which begins with a 4 or a 5 and eat vegetables. Archie has to go to all sorts of lengths everyday to assert his authority over them. Then these awful parents go and throw him a curveball and tell him he is going to have to share them with some weird alien thing growing in Mummy’s tummy. All hell is about to break loose, so prepare yourselves!

Katie Kirby illustrates the entries with cute stick man pictures depicting things such as Archie’s rage when the baby dares to look in the general direction of “his” television. As I started off this post saying, if you are human you will enjoy this book. If you are fortunate enough to have well behaved children you will chuckle smugly at Archie’s tantrums. If your children behave like Archie then you may find some light relief within these pages. If you have no children at all, you may be sorely tempted to keep it that way after reading this. And if your children are long since over these phases then you will laugh manically at the misfortune of others. Schadenfreude. It’s a real thing.

Kirby has a genuine talent for injecting humour to the situations that bring people to the end of their tether. This book is jam packed with moments of hilarity. Get a copy for yourself and then dole them out to everyone you know for Christmas. They’ll love them! While you’re at it check out Kirby’s blog at www.hurrahforgin.com She has expanded her repertoire to include humorous greeting cards that include her stick man pictures.

Oh, there is one warning that I might put on this book. Archie is a teeny-weeny bit sweary. Well, actually his mouth was fouler than a sumo-wrestler’s armpit, so if you are sensitive to that kind of thing then this may not be the book for you. For the rest of you, read it, laugh, then come back and thank me later!

But come back next Monday anyway. Now that I have whetted your appetite with some new books, I’m going to start moving into a mixture of new and older fiction. Some of them may be books that I have been meaning to read for years, others, like next week’s book, things that I stumbled across at the library. Next Monday I will review ‘The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ by Jonas Jonasson. Thank goodness they increased the number of characters in a tweet, otherwise I would never be able to tell people that I was reviewing this…