Written by: Andrew Hook
Published by: Atomic Fez Publishing (October 10, 2010)
Page Count: 176
Where to buy:
Atomic Fez Publishing, Amazon, and other fine book retailers
Ponthe Oldenguine is one part fictional biography of a former television impresario who claims he’s been hounded out of media history, and one part biography of the journalist commissioned to write his story. Where the tales merge, there is madness.
Hello Ghouls and Boils,
Tonight I am going to talk about a wonderfully unique piece of literature — “Ponthe Oldenguine” by Andrew Hook. It is a short book, so my review will be more about the style than the content (though I will discuss some of the story – keeping to my spoiler free rule). So take a trip with me to an unusual place, Trunka. I am sure you will enjoy the journey. As always – Enjoy, my fiends!
Sarah L. Covert
Hello Trunka! Everything I am about to tell you is false. Everything I am about to tell you is true.
The protagonist of this brilliant piece of metafiction is a journalist — well, an aspiring journalist really. He works for a local free paper (and writes the majority of the content), but he craves more. He decides to go to the streets to find a great story, in the style of Orwell — but with a different spin. What he really wanted was to be noticed for his talent.
On his first night out, dressed as a homeless man (in hopes of getting more truth than lies) he meets Ponthe Oldenguine (Ponth e rhymes with see — Old En Guine rhymes with twine). He is a street person with a very interesting story to tell. It seems Ponthe has been written out of history and he wants to be sure his story is recorded so he is not lost forever. There is one small problem, each night his life story is different and nothing he says is traceable through modern technology.
This is an amazing piece of fiction. I could not put it down once I picked it up. Even though the book is short (a mere 176 pages) I never once felt that it was lacking. The story has an interesting layout. We see the main character’s interaction with Ponthe and at the end of everyday we see his “narration” — how he perceived the visit.
This book has some footnotes from the “Editor” that show how incredulous “normal” people were about the stories he shared. The Editor obviously thinks the writer is quite mad. He doesn’t believe the writer is truthful about anything – his personal life or the existence of the man known as Ponthe Oldenguine.
If you have never picked up a piece of metafiction, this is a great place to start! Andrew Hook tells a wonderful story where the lines of fiction and reality seem to blur together and form something uniquely fantastic. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes strange tales, metafiction, or just wonderfully written stories that pull you into another world. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this brilliant piece. Without a doubt, I am happy to give this book a 5 out of 5. Keep writing and I will keep reading Mr. Hook, bravo!
Sarah L. Covert, Creator/Editor/Reviewer