Andy Ritchie's Reviews > Evil Machines: When Monty Python meets Roald Dahl…

Evil Machines by Terry Jones
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's review
Dec 12, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: could-not-finish

I so wanted to like this book but, in the end, after reading seven of the stories and getting as far as page 139, I finally decided that I'd had enough and that my time could be better spent reading something else.
So what was it about Evil Machines that didn't work for me?
Well, the cover says 'When Monty Python meets Roald Dahl' - if it is, then it's not the best of either. The stories are...well...they're okay, but they lack either the sublime anarchy of Python or the sheer creativeness of Dahl - and then there's the's almost as if Terry Jones couldn't quite decide whether this was a children's book or whether this was firmly aimed at adults, and as a result it falls into a no-man's-land somewhere in-between.
I picked this off the sci-fi shelf in Waterstones in Sheffield whilst looking for a couple of sci-fi classics to read over Christmas (ended up with The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson) - and therein might be the problem with this book. It's on the wrong set of shelves. I think it would be much better placed alongside BFG and James and the Giant Peach because the stories in Evil Machines and the style are much more suited to that particular audience.
So it's not that this is a bad set of stories - I'm sure some people will read them and thoroughly enjoy them - I just don't think it really lives up the the hype of the blurb on the back of the book. Perhaps if this had been sold as 'thirteen cautionary fables for children and adults alike' then it would be a more accurate representation of the content; then again, if I'd read that on the back cover, I probably wouldn't have bought it!
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Reading Progress

December 12, 2014 – Started Reading
December 12, 2014 – Shelved
December 20, 2014 – Shelved as: could-not-finish
December 20, 2014 – Finished Reading

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