Madhur Simon

Title:The Goofies tear Down their House

AUTHOR: Amishi Seth

PP: 230


Publisher:Penguin Random House India

The Goofies Tear Down Their House is a jolly novel which revolves around a family that is always in a mad pivot. Amishi Seth has illustrated a range of humorous incidents, like when the family has breakfast, when the house is repaired and a whole host of other things which have results so disastrous that destructive eight-year-olds are bound to find them funny. Although at one level, the book seems to have a realistic approach to life with office, laptops and presentations thrown in, at another, it escalates to extra-terrestrial heights with a terrified alien sent to Earth by King ET on a quest for adventure.
There is also a group of impaired bandits to match the Goofies, led by Boss with Popper whose eyeballs pop out as an added special character effect, which indeed creates a lighting effect for children. Shopkeepers have rather metaphorical names like Slimy and Buttery which may excite children only.
Seth has adopted the names of aliens from videogames which may keep the child audience glued to the novel, there is also an undercurrent of Super Mario to the Goofies’ frenetic antics. There is the parallel path of the old Laurel and Hardy movies with the robbers diving in and out of cupboards, or vans sliding downhill as their handbrakes fails etc. Visualised, these scene can be are humorously exciting.
Ultimately the different sets of characters collide taking the chaos to new heights, though it all flies over the heads of the Goofies who are set in the process of renovation. Perhaps a comment on the fact that today’s families are so self-absorbed that most of what happens flies over them. Although the Goofies may also attract various age groups, the author has focused mainly on children by evoking child humour. Certainly, the author pushes all the right buttons in her slapstick world of mayhem, perhaps with an eye on an eventual action cartoon for children.

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