4th BearThe group was widely split on this one. Three of us didn’t finish it, while others loveloveloved it. And the reasons for loving it were many. The audio version, with its different voices for the characters, was declared to be hilarious. One of our group found the satirical look at society and its class envy, failure of government, and the hatred of big business to be engrossing. The story was clever and absurd and generally entertaining.

We did agree, however, that it was very hard to get into. Initially, Joan did NOT understand what was going on. The little blurbs at the beginning of each chapter were not at all helpful and only added to her confusion. And knowledge of nursery rhymes and British cultural references was declared to be key to the story. The breaking down of the fourth wall in telling the story was an interesting development and the references to various plot points was amusing.

Once we got into it and suspended our disbelief, it was well worth the time.

Favorite characters– Ashley, the car, Punch and Judy, and Jack.

Least favorite – Briggs, Goldilocks, Gingerbread Man, Bisky Bat

3.52.5 stars

(the lower rating includes the people who didn’t finish it, though some would have given the book negative stars)