Justin's Reviews > Mouse Tales: A Behind-The-Ears Look at Disneyland

Mouse Tales by David Koenig
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Jun 08, 10

bookshelves: nonfiction, pop-culture
Read from June 01 to 08, 2010

Being a Disneyland devotee, I picked this one up on a lark at a used bookstore. It’s a good read for fans of the park, but nonfiction readers who are looking for a solid expose of Disneyland’s foibles and secrets will be disappointed by the uneven quality of the writing.

According to interviews, Koenig never worked for Disneyland, but apparently hung out with a lot of people who did. The book therefore melds company information, news stories, and public record with anecdotes from mostly nameless inside sources, creating a narrative that is a little salacious even when the actual stories aren’t. To the book's credit, though, it isn’t nearly as sensational as the cover makes it seem; in fact, with exception of a few mean-spirited jabs, the book is pretty fair-handed. Though there isn’t a whole lot here that Disney diehards don’t already know (bear in mind that it was published in 1994), there are plenty of fun and interesting tidbits shared in each chapter, mostly from those anecdotal sources.

The biggest problem with this book is its decidedly amateurish execution. Koenig appears to be a one-man operation, from authorship to distribution, and an editor doesn’t seem to figure in anywhere in the process. The book reads like an extended Internet message board post, complete with wonky grammar, frequent misspellings, and inexplicable tangents (such as the brief bit of religious proselytizing that was so out of place that it was unintentionally hilarious). Even though Koenig offers a thorough reference list at the end of the book, the credibility of the whole thing still seems a bit questionable. Of course, that’s part of this book's charm.

All told, this is a fun, quick read for those who have so much fondness for Disneyland that they don’t mind turning the occasionally cynical eye at it. Those who are too serious about Disneyland for their own good (and trust me, there are a *lot* of those) probably wouldn't like it so much, however.
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