Fing Hardcover – 21 Feb 2019
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PRAISE FOR DAVID WALLIAMS:
“I absolutely love David Walliams's books. In a few more years they will become classics.” – Sue Townsend, author of Adrian Mole
“Dahl finally has a worthy successor” – Telegraph
"Another triumph for David Walliams. His books are a breath of wonderful fresh air" – The Sun
About the Author
David Walliams continues to take the literary world by storm. He closed 2018 as the UK’s biggest selling author for the second year running and his eleventh novel, THE ICE MONSTER, was an immediate number one. David’s books have now exceeded 130 non-consecutive weeks at children’s number one, and have been translated into 53 languages, selling more than 29 million copies worldwide. David has worked with Tony Ross on six picture books as well as three bestselling short-story collections, THE WORLD’S WORST CHILDREN.
From the Publisher
What is a FING
Meet the Meeks in David Walliam's brand new novel Fing!
Librarians Mr and Mrs Meek will do anything for their daughter Myrtle, and she has everything she could possibly want. But when Myrtle demands a FING, her parents must embark on a quest from the forbidden vaults of the library, through the pages of the mysterious Monsterpaedia, and to to farthest corners of the jungle, to discover what a Fing is!
The perfect introduction to David Walliams for young readers aged 7+ and a wonderful treat for his legions of fans, Fing is a delightfully daft story with laugh-out-loud Walliams fun on every page!
An explosively funny, totally surreal Tall Story...
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So this review is not from his perspective - an 8 year old will love this: bum/poo jokes, lots of noises and silly creatures, things being destroyed, lists. It's also half the length of most of Walliams' recent novels, but still with regular Tony Ross sketches, so does speed along. No, it's great for the target market.
But as an experienced reader and librarian, it's pretty weak I'm afraid. This is the author's first novel with no hero/heroine. As Myrtle is a World's Worst Child in all but book title, she's actually also a minor character for most of the book. Spoiled by her librarian parents (oh what a terrible example they set for my profession!), she's a stereotype of an indulged brat with no personality anyway - nobody will be dressing up as her next World Book Day.
And Mr and Mrs Meek themselves are spineless simpering cliches, calling each other 'Mother' and 'Father'. There's nothing to them and they don't grow or do anything of note throughout the entire book.
***** SMALL SPOILER AHEAD *****
The story itself is ridiculously simple: brat wants 'Fing' as pet. Parents acquiesce. Parents find said potentially destructive pet. (SPOILER!!) Destruction occurs. A World's Worst Children-like 'serves-you-right ending for spoilt brat' also occurs.
***** END OF PLOT SPOILER *****
While my son found this entertaining, and I did enjoy some moments (list of unusual creatures in the MONSTERPEDIA being one), it just didn't feel as though it had been created with much love or care as some of the author's others clearly were. Even Fing himself has no character - he's an eating/pooing being, no emotion besides a lot of 'grrrr'ing. So I didn't care for the girl, her parents, the pet - there's no 'enemy' or battle... it really is just a reject from World's Worst Children or one made longer.
We spotted our beloved Raj twice (once as a graphic on a bus, and once Walliams shoehorns him in, even saying he's done it to place the much-esteemed newsagent in the story). Always a highlight, but certainly not enough to help raise this up from 'meh' rating to the bestselling status it will instantly earn without the merit of Walliams' previous heartfelt and genuinely funny inventions.
For ages 7-11.
The good - My seven year old read the book herself in a couple of sittings. She enjoyed it and it was easier for her to read alone than some of the longer DW books. Good for reluctant readers. The basic storyline was quite amusing - it will resonate with parents of children who always seem to ask for more stuff (ie mine!).
The bad - This felt like cheap, disposable literature. The children’s story equivalent of a Big Mac. Great for a quick hit, but doesn’t last long and leaves you with a lingering feeling of dissatisfaction. Absolutely no depth and the characters were unbelievably stereotyped. Even more so than DW’s other books. The book was padded out with illustrations and lists. A few lists are amusing, but DW went too far with the number of lists in Fing.
I would recommend buying this for a 7/8/9 year old who is struggling to enjoy reading. However, if you are looking for a better example of DW’s work, opt for something with more substance like the Midnight Gang or Bad Dad.