18 July 2014

Fortunately, The Milk reviewed by Matt

My old college friend Ben McFarland compared Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, The Milk to an un-aired episode of Doctor Who for children. That was enough to make me want to read it. Isaac, like many children, has a love/hate relationship with the Doctor. He is both fascinated and terrified of the science fiction creatures on the show. I leapt at the opportunity to give him the same intellectually playful and non-cynical experience of Doctor Who without the chance of him coming to our room at three in the morning to tell us about his dreams of the Cybermen.

Gaiman actually has written an episode of Doctor Who, “The Doctor’s Wife," along with many other books including Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and co-wrote Good Omens which had me gasping for wind from laughing so hard when I read it for our church book club.

Fortunately, the Milk is the story of one father’s attempt to bring some milk home from the store and the shaggy dog adventure he had on the way home.  (Sort of a cross between Dr. Seuss’s To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street and The Usual Suspects).  It also reminded me of one of our favorite web comics, Axe Cop, in it’s rambling “everything including the kitchen sink” method of storytelling.

The Doctor famously once said,People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... timey wimey... stuff.”  And that certainly applies here.  It gives young children a chance to experience non-linear cause and effect in a fairly simple way.

The book takes maybe 30-45 minutes to read and all three of us enjoyed it immensely.  Pick up a copy and let us know what YOU think.

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