Title – Mind-Swapping Madness
Author – Tom E. Moffatt
Illustrator – Paul Beavis
Genre – Fiction, short stories
I chanced upon this book while casually browsing through Kindle. The cover has a child-like charm to it, but I was looking for something light among the other current serious reads, and decided to have a go with it. And it was a fun read indeed. Mind-Swapping Madness is from the Bonkers Short Stories collection, and this is Book One of the series. As the title suggests, this collection of stories revolves around the theme of mind-swapping (or body-swapping if you look at it the other way round.) Parents swapping minds with children, siblings switching into each other’s bodies, the old hanging on to their youth by transferring into bodies of the young, humans in alien bodies and vice versa, and even mind swaps involving horses, frogs, cats, flies and fleas. This is an assorted mix of seven stories, all of which delve into mind swapping, and the author’s creativity certainly comes to the fore in churning out characters and scenarios for each story as he transports you to into a world of mind-swapping. The blurb states: “Looking in the mirror will never be the same again“, and Moffatt has brilliantly created a world for his characters that he gives us a glimpse into.
~”It was as though I were having an out-of-body experience. But I still had a body. I could wiggle my legs and my wings were flapping.”
~”Kit chewed his thumbnail as he looked down. He didn’t get it. Either Ben had lost his mind, or Kit had lost Ben’s mind.”
~”Adults aren’t great in crazy situations. They’ve spent so long being normal that their brains can’t handle it. Kids, on the other hand, are usually fine.”
The stories are hilarious as they transport you into a world that has seemingly gone bonkers, and make you ponder on the possibilities of swapping minds/bodies with another being (human/animal/insect/extra-terrestrial). The situations are funny, scary, embarrassing, twisted and spooky, and feature a wide range of characters. Each of the stories is creatively titled with an illustration. In addition, there are numerous illustrations throughout the book, in keeping with the events of each story. I personally feel the illustrator should have been credited on the front cover – the illustrations are fabulous. The stories all stand out in their own way and will have you chuckling throughout, but I particularly liked “Soul Beneficiary” and “Flea Trouble”. A very entertaining book, I would recommend this to both children and adults. The relatively simplistic usage of language makes this very readable for kids as well. 12 year olds and above should be able to read this by themselves, younger kids can read along with parents and enjoy the fun illustrations. This also works if you’re strapped for time, and can chew through a story a day for your daily dose of laughter. Artists will also enjoy this book – the illustrations beautifully depict how one can tell a story through pictures. I couldn’t find anything else from this author, but I look forward to reading and recommending more works from Tom Moffatt if and when he comes out with more books.
Rating – 4/5