'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Review: Kurt Gets Truckloads

We've all wondered about those people who win Lotto — do they remain the people they were before or does all that sudden wealth change them? I'm sure we like to think that if it happened to us, we'd stay the same kind, loving people we've always been.

That's certainly what Kurt, a perfectly normal, very kind truck driver, husband and father of three, believed anyway. But all that is put to the test when he's given a very large, very valuable diamond as a reward for saving a man's life …

He sells the diamond and finds himself $50 million richer! And it's not long before things start changing. First of all, he's not keen to share and decides his wife and kids can only have $100 each. Then, he quits his job. Next, he starts buying everything he's ever wanted. He's becoming rude, arrogant and unpleasant to be around. His family aren't happy, but Kurt doesn't care. After all, he's the richest man in town now. In fact, he decides he might as well run the town and the entire country and become Prime Minister!

He buys everything he needs to run a campaign, pays for posters to be put up all over the country, and appears on television making lots of promises on lots of subjects that he really doesn't know anything about (mmmm, sound familiar anyone?). But he still doesn't win the election. And that's when Kurt turns really nasty, going on a rampage through the city, destroying everything in his path, careening through police blockades and terrifying the population. Eventually he's caught, and to atone for his bad behaviour he has to pay a fine of $40 million, which — considering all he's spent already — means he now has very little money left.

And without all that money, Kurt becomes the man he used to be — a loving husband and father, a loyal employee, and a kind, very normal man.

There is a wonderful zany humour that runs throughout this story, which is further enhanced by the numerous illustrations. The language is simple but the message is profound. Younger readers will enjoy the mayhem that Kurt creates but hopefully learn a valuable lesson along the way about what really matters in life. Parents might find themselves wishing this was compulsory reading for every politician!

Title: Kurt Gets Truckloads
Author: Erlend Loe
Illustrator: Kim Hiorthøy
Publisher: Gecko Press, $16.99 RRP
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781877579301
For ages: 9+
Type: Junior Fiction

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