Ratburger by David Walliams is the latest novel from a UK author whose writing has already attracted comparisons to that of Roald Dahl. Praise indeed, and not without good reason. Ratburger bursts with fabulous characters and a fast paced plot.
Ratburger has Zoe as its central character. Living with her lazy stepmother, in a high rise block of flats Zoe's daily challenges include trying to avoid Tina Trotts the school bully. Zoe's unusual talent - because everyone has a talent of some kind - is her ability to train animals to do the most spectacular tricks. With a father who doesn't pay any attention, and a stepmother who simply doesn't care, pets are a little hard to come by ... until a rat appears in the flat.
With a dastardly villain appearing on the scene, a fast paced plot soon develops. It's a race against time to prevent ... well, take a second glance at the title!
In Ratburger, Walliams creates compelling characters and a clever narrative. Both are accompanied by the illustrations of Tony Ross adding a wonderful sprinkling of humour.
As an author, David Walliams excels in a similar vein to Roald Dahl - that uncanny ability to pen a story which neither patronises children nor idolises adults. Adults can be wrong, unkind, humorous and forgiving and the same for children - this realism keeps him in touch with his younger audience. Intertwined into this, is Walliams' unique sense of humour which lifts each of his novels, and is ensuring that each has become a sure fire hit with young boys in particular.
Wacky, laugh out loud and with a bit of the gruesome thrown in for good measure Ratburger is an incredibly enjoyable, fast paced novel.