Monday 23 December 2019

Book review : Doctor Mooze - Erik Ryman

Doctor Mooze by Erik Ryman is an intriguing and ultimately heart-breaking book that took me completely by surprise. Written in the form of a blog diary by a ten-year-old boy called Panton di Villa, aka Doctor Mooze, I was initially unsure who the target audience was supposed to be. Would it be a funny book, rather like The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, which would appeal to adults, or was it supposed to appeal to children, who would relate to the narrator? As I continued to read, I soon realised that, while it does contain several funny scenes, it is actually a very bleak and heart-rending tale that adults would appreciate, reading through the lines and seeing things that the child narrator is too young and inexperienced to understand himself.

As my own son is ten years old, I just couldn't relate to the narrator being the same age as him - in my mind, he appears to be about thirteen or fourteen. He lives with his parents and brother in a fairly standard family in a fairly standard house with fairly standard friends. He really could be anybody's child. Things begin to go wrong when one of his classmates starts going out with the girl that he likes and he gets jealous. His big brother will help him lay a plan that will embarrass the classmate, split up the couple and set the way for Panton to get in there and grab the girl. (This is one of the reasons why age ten seemed too young, for them to be overly worried about girlfriends already.)

While the teasing and underhand planning may at first seem childish and innocent, things soon take a turn for the worse. The victim's dog is killed and they continue to taunt him, demanding that he debase himself for their entertainment in order to find out where the dog is. Things get progressively worse, with the victim's family members being caught up in the action, until the final blog entry and its post script, revealing the heartbreaking news of what happened to everybody in the story.

It's a hard-hitting and thought-provoking read, particularly given its short length (just 142 pages). I could actually imagine this happening, which is why it is such a chilling read.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: bluechrome Publishing; 2nd Revised edition edition (24 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906061041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906061043
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm


  1. Excellent review :one I'll be adding to my book list

  2. It does sound rather bleak. Agree with you on the 10-year-olds, they are not that serious about the girlfriend/boyfriend business. From observing my son's class (9 and 10 year olds), they are more of a frenemy camp with the opposite sex right now.


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