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Doctor Who: Mad Dogs and Englishmen Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jan 2002
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An old Oxford professor, Ronald Tyler, has retired to write his fantasy opus. He has created a whole mythology about a world of warring factions. After his mysterious disappearance, the Doctor is perturbed and determines who is responsible.
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The problem with 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' is that it fails to make sense or be funny. Magrs has created a novel that starts off confusing, is ok for 100 pages, and then descends once more into an overly complex narrative consisting of three threads in different time lines. I assume that Magrs was trying to create a light-hearted Who novel to celebrate 100 BBC books, but that does not excuse poor writing. The fact is that the book's attempts at humour fail miserably and just highlight the poor writing.
If you are looking for some eccentric and funny science fiction try Jasper Fforde or Robert Rankin. They are able to achieve something that this book fails in doing - having an amusing and complex story that makes sense.
There's about a million interesting things that could be said about a world of intelligent dogs, and this book says none of them. What's their soceity like? Do they have humans on their world, and if so what is their status? Why do they watch so much human TV? This book covers none of this. There's a particularly glaring scene where the Doctor, Fitz and Anji are stripped naked, fitted with collars and leashes and made to act as pets to the Poodle Princess, and the book somehow manages not to make a single comment about how they feel about this. Generally, Paul Magrs wastes all the potential of the concept on a forumulaic, by-the-numbers plot.
It's not even well-written. There's a cringeworthy moment where Magrs wants to introduce Noel Coward, but apparently couldn't come up with an appropriate witicism for the great man. Later he wants us all to know that the Doctor has become impatient, so he has Coward say "You're becoming impatient, Doctor" (ironically, this is one of the few occaisions when the writing was actually succeeding, as the Doctor is pretty clearly impatient throughout and the reader didn't need Coward hand-holding him through to that conclusion).
Oh, and the plot doesn't make sense either.
I guess there _are_ worse books out there, but you'd have to hunt pretty hard to find them.
This book was so apt for that spell in hospital - it was the perfect piece of escapism. It was (and is) deliriously brilliant! I shan't spoil the story for you but if you like books with a sense of adventure - and humour this is the one for you.
Bizarre but Brilliant!!!
Everyone, Dr Who fans or otherwise, will love this book!!
BUY IT NOW!!!!
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