The unnamed heroine of this tale redefines whacky. In her early twenties, with a degree in English, she is working in a pet library – yes, where pets may be “checked out.” Meanwhile her life is turned upside-down by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (a library book checked out to a friend that she has no intention of returning.) “She” – not sure what else to call her – resolves to adopt what she considers Jim Hawkins’ best qualities: BOLDNESS, RESOLUTION, INDEPENDENCE, and HORN-BLOWING. She carries the book everywhere, extolling its virtues to any within ear shot. The first thing she does to put her resolve into action is to leave the pet library unattended, walk a few miles to a pet STORE, and, using petty cash from the library, buy a huge and rude parrot named Richard to liven up the library. You can imagine what occurred when the library owner learned that her employee had spent the money saved for her mother’s hip replacement for a mouthy bird….while the library was being vandalized. It never ends. “She” moves in with her boyfriend when she cannot pay the rent, then back with her parents when the relationship turns sour. In a final act of desperation she goes to a doctor’s office and tells the receptionist “I want samples, not a psychiatrist!” Reviewers have called this little book hilarious and the heroine undeniably insane, but Robert Louis Stevenson may be turning in his grave.
Sep 2, 2012