Mr. Thundermug is the inventive, entertaining, and—against all odds—poignant story of an animal who acquires the ability to eloquently speak human language. Using his own beautiful, eerie lithograph illustrations, Cornelius Medvei places us in a vivid world that is both familiar and alien. It's a world in which Mr. Thundermug and his family take up occupancy in an abandoned apartment building. On the roof of that building, Mr. Thundermug gazes at the heavens and thinks deep thoughts while his wife picks bugs off him and eats them. Understandably, he's somewhat confused by his complex existence as a fluent member of human society who has the essential nature of a more ancient species, but he assimilates as best he can. His worlds inevitably collide, and he is eventually brought to court for a petty crime and asked to defend himself in impossible ways.
Simultaneously playful and foreboding, Mr. Thundermug announces the arrival of a bold and imaginative talent.
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Cornelius Medvei was born in 1977 and grew up in the east of England. He studied modern languages at Oxford University and worked in China for a year and a half as a teacher. He now lives in London. This is his first book.From Publishers Weekly:
This curious, slender debut—a "case history" complete with photographs—documents the appearance in a London-like city of Mr. Thundermug, a baboon who speaks perfect English, squats in a condemned apartment building with his wife and two children, and survives on foraged cockroaches and melon. The baboon's origins are unknown, but the unnamed narrator, a journalist, suggests that Mr. Thundermug may be linked to the mysteriously vanished zoologist, Dr. Alphonsus Rotz, whose immersion fieldwork with a baboon colony had led him to theorize, suggestively, about cross-breeding between humans and baboons. Mr. Thundermug is smart and articulate, but he can't read the eviction notices from the Housing Department. He sends his children to school and befriends their teacher, Miss Angela Young, who teaches him to read and write. After being harassed by the Housing Department, Mr. Thundermug is arrested for, among other things, cruelty to animals (his children sleep in the bathtub). He is vindicated, but his wife and children (none of whom can speak a human language) fare less well. Britisher Medvei offers a gently affecting and often funny allegory of the outsider, but his awkward framing of the "facts" gives the story a distance that diminishes its impact. (Apr.)
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Next day dispatch from the UK (Mon-Fri). Please contact us with any queries. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000439844