By: Maxine Rose Schur
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: August 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 2009
Gullible Gus was just one of those sorts of guys who will believe anything you tell him. He's the type of guy you'd love to have around because everyone would be laughing all the time because he was just that dumb. Billy Bones told him that "It's going to rain nails!" so he ran into the barn, got a bucket and put it on his head. Dumb, simply dumb. Doc Hickory examined him and said he had a pretty bad case of gullibility and he'd have to do something about it and promptly sent him off to Fibrock for a cure. Mr. Hokum Malarkey was the biggest liar in Fibrock and told some pretty big whoppers. Doc told Gus if he could "doubt just one, [he'd] be cured for good."
Now that was some tall order, but Malarkey was up to it. He told him the story of Dr. Ducknoise and how he "near ruined the nice little town of Flapjack" with his "Smart Syrup." Everyone got so darned smart when they ordered a donut they would ask the baker, "Are you currently the purveyors of pastry with a single orifice, a diameter of approximately five inches, and a high caloric content?" Of course then he gave them Dumb Drops. At any rate, Gus believed that story and he believed the one about Cantankerous Clem From Grasshopper Flats. Malarkey was having a tough time. What kind of tale could he tell Gus that he WOULDN'T believe? Whoa, how about Backwards Hannah?
This book has a few tall twisting tales that you're going to love. Of course Gullible Gus is a charming, but dopey character, who will appeal to everyone. One of my favorite characters in the book was Cantankerous Clem who would "argue with his own echo" just to be argumentative. This is a zany, inane book that was superbly crafted just for the tall tale lover. When you get this book, just make sure you check out Clem's take on soup before you hand it over to your youngster.
Quill says: You're going to laugh and, most likely, recognize some old curmudgeon you know!