Review: Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow


Welcome to Ratbridge. But beware — for there is skulduggery afoot. Young Arthur has fallen foul of the appalling outlaw, Snatcher, and is trapped alone in the town with every way home sealed. Meanwhile Snatcher and his men are working tirelessly in secret on a fiendish and dastardly plan to take over — and destroy — the entire town. With the help of Willbury Nibble, QC; some friendly boxtrolls and cabbageheads; Marjorie the frustrated inventor; and the rats and pirates from the Ratbridge Nautical Laundry, can Arthur thwart Snatcher’s evil plans — and find his way home?


I asked another booky person for something funny to read and I was handed a rather battered copy of Here Be Monsters!  I’d just read Goblins by Philip Reeve not long ago and wanted something that was the same breed of funny and this was what I got.  It’s rather annoying have to admit that other people are right and know me well;  I enjoy the air of mystery I have (I AM AN ENIGMA!) but I shall.  I wanted to curl up in this book and make a like hovel where I’d live.  You’re thrown into the town of Ratbridge and with no explanation or reasoning as to what the heck is going on and are let loose.  Just fantastic.  

There’s trolls that wear boxes, talking rat pirates, wild cheese that roams the woodland, water cows, rabbit women and a boy called Arthur that flies ….sometimes.  It’s some kind of bizarreness that it can’t help but be beautiful.   Arthur is a lad that lives underground with his grandfather but ventures above ground to “borrow” food from the gardens and homes of Ratbridge.  He gets stuck above ground and becomes caught up in a plot to destroy the town, cheese, the underling creatures and a wonderful man called Willbury Nibble QC.  It’s just a fantastic tale of adventure, laughter, scares and dairy products.

It’s a bit heavy tomb of a book but I was totally shocked at how fast I whizzed through it and how much I enjoyed every chapter.  Plus the art work dotted over every page to bring the words to life was delightful.  This is a fab story to have on your shelf and it’s almost like comfort food.  Enjoy on a lazy rainy Sunday with a big bowl of mash potato or warm crusty bread and butter.

Published by OUP and is available from here 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *