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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2001
I still have my original first edition of Fungus from 1978, a book which was a firm favourite then and remains so to this day. I read Raymond Briggs' book so many times that I can still quote from it ("Nothing is permanent but woe" as seen on a bogey sandwich board; "Fungus inspects his trousers which have been marinading overnight 'mmmm! these really stink!'")and I find the book enduringly funny yet poignant. Fungus is a decent hard-working bogey but asks himself what is is all for? why do bogeymen exist? why do they have to pester and frighten the Drycleaners? (as we who live on the surface are known.) It seems as if no one has the answer, not even his beloved wife Mildew "the ugliest woman in Bogeydom."
Children (and doubtless many adults) will love this brilliantly illustrated book, and all the detail so lovingly described within - it is funny, rude, tender, thoughtful and even moving. I cannot recommend it enough.
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on 28 February 2003
My mother first got this book out of the local library for me when I was about seven or eight, and now at the age of twenty-one, it remains one of my favourite books. I even named my first pet budgie Fungus (well, it was pale green!). "Fungus the Bogeyman" is one of those stories that can be enjoyed by all ages. Some of the in-joking of the narrative may only be understood by the slightly older child, but even the younger ones will love the ick factor of Fungus's life.
The perfect antidote to our over-sanitised lives.
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'Repulsive but none the less compulsive'. This classic Raymond Briggs book hasn't got a real storyline. It's more like an comic strip encyclopedia on the life of bogeymen (Fungus) and bogeywomen (wife Mildew) and their bogeychildren (son Mould). The book just charts a day in the life of a bogeyman, who it seems, exists merely to torment us 'Drycleaners'. This clever study of bogeydom revels in all things revolting, slimy, putrid, and lavatorial, and even raises deep questions on the meaning of Bogeydom life.

The book is filled with visual and literary gags, e.g. hidden on Mildrew's bathroom shelf there's 'FemStench' perfume which is real Eau de Toilete (toilet water), plus you finally find out what Great Aunt Ada Doom of Cold Comfort Farm really saw in the woodshed as a child (and yes it was something nasty). This book would be of interest to any kid over 7, boys might go for it at an earlier age than girls - although be warned it's not suitable for sensitive parents. It's also ideal for well read teenagers and young adults, who will appreciate the sophisticated humour more. So if you ever wondered what makes the bogeyman hiding under your bed tick, get this superbly illustrated and funny book.
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on 9 January 2016
Like a good many people (many good?) I watched (wodged?) the televisual version/adaptation of 'Fungus' over 'Christmas', with my daughter (Dorta?), 8, and greatly enjoyed it, I must say. The casting was wunderba und whole thing (ding?) just absolutely smashing. Thus, though I don't remember the book being quite the same as the show, I do remember it being flipping fabulous, and so bought (bort?) it for said daughter (dorta?) with obvious intention of retreading myself.
And then I must just add that unlike a good many (many good?) people, I actually wrote to Raymond Briggs in the winter of 1980, to congratulate him on 'Fungus', and was lucky enough to receive a 'Christmas' card from him in response, bearing the titular Bogeyman athwart its frontage and containing a very kind message, which card I still have! Possibly the highlight of an otherwise moribund existence, so thank you, Mr Briggs! I'll be buying 'When the Wind Blows' (another boyhood favourite) next.
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on 23 December 2012
Having bought this for my other half, whom I was shocked to realise had reached the age of 38 without even having heard of it, I couldn't resist a few minutes refreshing my memory of it before wrapping!! The way the book is written and laid out is very quirky but this doesn't at all make it difficult or annoying to read, that said it is definitely aimed at competent readers (I actually snorted tea out my nose reading the earlier review by the parent giving it a poor rating for not being suitable for a 4 year old) I remember discovering and loving it at ten but having just looked at it again I'm pretty sure it is going to be swiftly claimed by my 7 year old daughter after my other half has read it as it's something I think she'll like, everyone's different.
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on 16 November 2000
I read this book as a kid and it kept me up for weeks, not just because I was fascinated by the antics of Fungus and his family, but because it was such a magnetic book. The illustrations brought home the disgusting nature of the real life of a Bogeyman.
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on 19 October 2000
I remember this fondly from my childhood. Great to show the kids what goes on under the bed or in the cupboard.
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on 30 January 2016
Bought this as Xmas present as I knew it was going to be adapted & shown on Sky 1, so wanted little man to be familiar with the characters - felt kinda nostalgic seeing it & present was really well received.
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Amazon link all the versions, book both paper and hard backs, audio abridged and unabridged together so this really confuses things.

But in this case the confusion is all the more for this is NOT a read version of Fungus the Bogeyman rather it is the televised and sanitized version that was on TV and has been released on DVD.

This means that if you are reading this as a review of the original book Fungus the Bogeyman then this review is not relevant.
It should only be read as a review of the audio version.
Clear with me?

Fungus the Bogeyman was a simply brilliant, ground breaking book that was, lets face it, for adults.
The words, language and jokes were for a very high reading age and many of the words and references simply went over the children's heads.

It was and still is a brilliant book- never bettered.

The DVD release is an altogether difference book.
New characters have been brought in to replace Fungus and he takes a back seat to his two children and the dry-cleaning family (i.e. humans i.e. US) that he comes into contact with.
The adult wording, plot and inferences have been taken over to become a BBC CeeBeebies type standard.
I'm not saying that is a bad thing- far from it the two are completely different.

It's a little like taking Death on the Orient express and bringing Thomas the Tank engine with Clarabelle and Annie in its place. The murder has gone and the Fat controller's sandwiches and pork pies have been stolen instead.

Clunes reads the story well but my goodness I was totally bored by the sanitized story.

If you want a book of the DVD then this is for you if you loved Fungus the Bogeyman with Raymond Briggs in full flow then this is NOT the book for you.

Amazon simply should not have them under the same banner they are as different as the Sound of Music is to Death in Venice.
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on 29 March 2014
I know this is a classic, but time does nothing to devalue this. I am in my thirties but still don't feel that poring over the pictures in this book is a waste of my time. Beautiful illustrations and although the plot line is thin it is a moving take on our modern way of life. It is thought provoking. Well worth your time and money. Don't bother with the 2004 DVD version.
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