Review: Mrs Darcy vs the Aliens

Mrs Darcy vs the Aliens, by Jonathan Pinnock (Proxima, 2011)

This book will make people look at you. It will make you make a fool of yourself in public places. Your life-partner will ban you from reading this book at bedtime. You will be glared at on public transport.

This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It is a book that makes you laugh out loud, uncontrollably. Consistently.

Unusually for outright comedic novels, there is actually a storyline rather than just a skeleton on which to hang the jokes. There are aliens, they are trying to take over the world, and Mrs Elizabeth Darcy is at the middle the effort to prevent this happening. That the aliens are shape shifters serves to throw confusion into the bona fides of some of the rest of the cast, and to top it off there are strong hints of temporal anomalies.

The greatest appeal of the book, though, is undoubtedly the humour; at times delicate, at others brutish, Pinnock even makes use of the delayed punchline; dropping an amusing seed, then slapping you with a guffaw when you had almost forgotten it. To me, this was a blend of Douglas Adams and Jasper Fforde.

Thoroughly recommend it if you don't mind standing out in a crowd, or disturbing the bucolic paper rustlers on the 8.15 into work.

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