Mr Humperdinck’s Mysterious Manuscript

Wynand Louw

Human and Rossouw

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

Mr Humperdinck’s Mysterious Manuscript is a bit darker than its predecessor,
Mr Humperdinck’s Wonderful Whatsit, but it is still funny, if not funnier than the first book.

Novels that make me laugh are always favourites in my book because I can forgive a lot while giggling – bad writing, poor plotlines, weak character development all seem less important with a good dose of humour but thankfully these books feature none of those faults.

The writing in the books is very well put together and the plots are intricate enough to keep the story entertaining without becoming too convoluted or complicated.

The characters also undergo a lot of growth and have a realistic depth to them that make them endearing – the human ones at least and even a few of the magical ones.

The only character that bugged me a bit was Freddy, the best-friend boy genius.

Genius best friends seem to be a new children’s fantasy staple and it is starting to feel a bit overdone.

The books are also placeless – another modern novel gimmick that newer South African writers especially seem to like – with bits of the story feeling British or American but there was also a lot of South African flavour.