24 January 2011

Rediscovering The Lorax

Yesterday, as I was surveying the contents of the new CD/DVD/book store in town, I happened across a hardcover copy of Dr Seuss' children's book The Lorax. All I could remember of the story were the truffula trees and some sort of vague environmental message. But I remembered loving it and decided, on impulse, that I had to buy it.

The sales assistant joked that I had "a serious night of reading" ahead of me. Well, I don't know about "night" - it did only take 15 minutes - but it was the best book I've read in I-don't-know-how-long. The Lorax beats The Forever War (which I've been crawling painfully through for over a month now) hands down. And that's supposed to be a science fiction classic.

The Lorax may be a children's story, but it's also "serious" storytelling of the highest order. Seuss' joyfully poetic writing...
"I am the Lorax," he coughed and he whiffed.
He sneezed and he snuffled. He snarggled. He sniffed.
"Once-ler!" he cried with a cruffulous croak.
"Once-ler! You're making such smogulous smoke!"
carried me right through to the end I knew was coming in one beautiful, imaginative burst of narrative. Without any of the tortuous mind-battle to continue reading I often experience with inferior (adult) fiction - as if reading a book, whatever my response to it, is good for me.

So honestly, if January is getting you down - which it is, according to BBC news - curl up with a good children's book. Read it out loud; as if you were telling the story to an *actual* child. This was easily the most entertaining, most uplifting thing I'd done all month. Medicine for the soul. And bloody good inspiration for some proper storytelling if you've any writer-ly inclinations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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