Unshelved recommends Benson's Cuckoos

“Recommendations for Friday, October 24, 2014” / Unshelved / Gene Aumbaum / October 24, 2014

Richard is hired at Benson’s Cuckoos. It’s proving difficult to get a handle on his new job and the folks he works with: Christine is monumentally unhelpful, Sophie is given to crying fits, presentations make Alan pass out, and the boss, Benson, is simply insane and more than a little mean. And the mystery about what happened to the missing former accounts manager George McCall deepens as reality TV show Lost and Found continues to dig into the case.

The characters are all anthropomorphic animals who are drawn in a style reminiscent of Ricard’s children’s books, though the storyline is more NBC’s The Office with swearing.

Why I picked it up: Ricard’s Anna & Froga was delightfully odd. And that’s a beautifully drawn cuckoo clock on the cover.

Why I finished it: I hated my grandmother’s insane and irritating Bichon Frisé, Bungee. Richard’s boss looks just like her, though he lacks the raw patches of flesh she never stopped licking, and Bungee never wore a shirt or tie. As Richard’s boss gives him a tour of his new workplace at the beginning of the book, I just kept thinking that if Bungee had been able to talk, she would have made as little sense.

And then the secretary, a frog (I think), flashes Richard her underwear in the elevator after offering to sleep with him. The whole scene made me giggle.

It's perfect for: High school students in media literacy classes. The reality TV show’s host interviews Richard and Sophie, and then edits their responses to make them seem as if they had something against the missing George McCall. It would form the basis for a good discussion, plus the “funny animals” juxtaposed with the adult language would keep them reading.

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