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Brought Back Goofy Memories of My Son and His Best Friend
am 3. März 2008
If you haven't had a good laugh lately, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is your source for timeless humor.
There's a particular goofiness about boys in middle school that drives parents crazy but has to delight when considered from a distance such as through reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jeff Kinney captured that goofiness with a tongue-in-cheek irreverence that will amuse anyone reading this book.
This is a graphic novel, but not the slick sort that you see from Japan. Instead, Mr. Kinney imitates the style that a middle school boy with good printing skills might use in displaying this simulated diary in the form of Greg Heffley's journal.
Greg is a middle child as well as a middle schooler. His older brother Rodrick can't be bothered with Greg except when the temptation to torture occurs to Rodrick. His younger brother Manny is the apple of his parents' eyes and is spoiled rotten.
Greg has a few, simple needs to satisfy: Avoiding touching the cheese that's been on blacktop since the prior spring, not getting beaten up by bigger kids, playing his favorite video games (which his parents don't approve of), avoiding embarrassment, and getting credit for doing something right. Parents, teachers, fellow students, and fate conspire to thwart Greg. But Greg has one ace in the hole . . . his friend Rowley is even more of a loser than Greg is. And Greg exploits Rowley for all he's worth. The gags are often based on the results not turning out as Greg anticipated.
The book has many funny parts that will have you laughing out loud. Occasionally, Mr. Kinney goes over the top and employs too much self-satire. But the story is quickly rescued by going back into straight satire.
I derived special pleasure from the book by recounting the adventures of one of my sons and his best friend at this same age. That gave me many more things to laugh about.