Author: Philip Pullman
My rating: 5 of 5
Although I was originally familiar with Pullman’s work primarily through the His Dark Materials trilogy, it has been pleasant to discover his other works, which are at least as original and enjoyable as the trilogy. In The Scarecrow and His Servant, Jack and his master, an animated scarecrow, wander aimlessly across a country that may or may not be Italy (the names sound Italian, in any case). At least, the wandering seems episodic and aimless initially; however, on closer examination, a clear and well-executed plot appears. There is a strong feel of Don Quixote in the mad romps of this pair, as the scarecrow indulges in his bold but quite mad fancies while Jack engages his cleverness to pull them back from the brink of disaster time and time again. Pullman’s combination of engaging characters, amusing situations, and general wit make this a fascinating and enjoyable read which I would recommend to just about anyone.