This is the second post in the Hugzilla blog series “A Week of WTF Kids’ Books”: a celebration of books that have sprung disturbing or inappropriate themes on unsuspecting parents as they read aloud to their children. The first post is here: The Story About Ping.
Oh goodie! A rollicking pirate story. What young boy DOESN’T wish he had a pirate suit. I snapped this one up eagerly, and without looking further than the actual title.
If I had been slightly more observant I might have noticed the illustration on the cover, which shows a pirate trying to stab another pirate in the spleen as he falls to his inevitable death in the ocean.
I should also have taken note of the author. Pamela Allen.
She writes some @%^$&ed up shit.
It all starts off fairly innocently, as we are introduced to two siblings. The older brother is a bit of an A-type personality (politically-correct term for “pushy asshole”) who gets off on bossing his younger siblings around and making them submit to his will.
He has the pirate suit. He is the captain. He calls the shots with arrogant seniority and his younger brother defers to him with an ambivalent combination of hero worship, simmering resentment and exhausted resignation.
Nothing to see here that doesn’t already happen in this house and millions of other households on a daily basis. ‘Tis the harsh reality of the sibling pecking order.
But then shit gets real. Pirate Pete kickstarts a literary killing spree unrivalled since a young Patrick Bateman first took up the chainsaw.
He razes a rival pirate ship and watches triumphantly as it goes down in flames, the hapless crew resigned to their inevitable death by drowning, burning, stab wounds, starvation or shark attack.
He has his younger brother trussed and tied to a pole, and dragged in a clear state of distress to a steaming cauldron of boiling hot water. He sits on a throne, cutlery in hand and napkin around his neck; smirking in delicious anticipation of the act of ritual cannibalism he is about to perform.
He blindfolds his younger brother and forces him to walk the plank at swordpoint, another act of callous fratricide that catapults him into the open jaws of the six angry crocodiles who are about to tear him apart.
The body count continues to pile up, and the book climaxes with a revenge fantasy that sees the younger brother unleash a rampaging lion upon his older brother, to viciously maul him with the intent to cause death.
TRY AND EXPLAIN THIS SHIT TO A FOUR YEAR OLD. I DARE YOU.
He’s not a pirate. He’s a sociopath.
This is not a children’s book. It’s an illustrated snuff fantasy.
Actual title: “I Wish I Could Kill My Sadistic Sibling”.
Do your kids like Pamela Allen books?
Is it just me, or is she seriously twisted?