Shakespeare's Cuthbert by Patrick Barrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This type of book is not my normal fare, not being YA, fantasy, or paranormal, but, I have to say, I loved it.
Set in 'the valley', Shakespeare's Cuthbert follows the life of farmer and local undertaker, Cuthbert; he's not 'real valley folk', he's a bit dim and a true accidental hero, and he is really fun to read.
The book is quite long and densely packed with chortles and asides (a la Terry Pratchet, only not at the bottom of the page) - be warned, until you get used to this, you may get a little lost as the story delves into an anecdote without warning, but it's normally worth the delve.
All the valley characters are as engaging as they are odd from Geraldine the somewhat cracked archaeologist to Percy 'the gardener', who seems to have a lot of strings to his rather bent bow. And close to my heart are the twins, they have no non-collective names, they are the valley mafia and ruthless, plus they like large bangs :).
At times this book made me smile, at others snigger and at others laugh so hard I had people coming in to see what I was laughing about. The best bits are the jokes that creep up on you and take you by surprise - all I will finish with is to say 'ninja sheep'. :D
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