I've tried to keep this review free of spoilers, however some might slip through. I won this book as part of a First Reads giveaway. I received it in the mail a few days ago, but have been unable to finish it until today. It's taken me a little less than four and a half hours (very enjoyable) to read.
Bernard "Beanie" Wimple is the loveable owner of a haberdashery store. His store has few real customers and he believes that he leads a boring life. Despite this, we go on a few miraculous adventures with him, as told by his brianwig. We're led along tales with somewhat fantastical creatures and events, including that of attack clowns, stoned mice, a poo baby and on top of all of that, dessert goes horribly (I mean it) wrong.
As described in the blurb, this novel is indeed for mature readers with immature minds. Though the story lines can be somewhat childish at times, it has also provided a somewhat intelligible look on the town of Spritzerville. Bernard's views on the world are somewhat intriguing and he is overly very likeable. He actually reminds me a little bit of myself, not that I look like a bean, but that his behaviour is somewhat the way I would be if I were in the various situations he's put himself through in the novel. At one point he has joined a crochet club, mistaking it for a croquet club, and been too embarrassed to admit his mistake.
I imagine myself doing the same thing in that situation, which is awfully embarrassing to admit. It's quite easy to imagine the book as him telling his own story, if it weren't written by that pesky brianwig. I can quite imagine Bernard rambling about his life and the way he feels about each situation. It was quite refreshing to live inside of his head, with him giving his personal thoughts to each situation. The other characters have various charms, quirks and problems that need fixing. My favourite character, apart from Bernard, is Knobby. I was quite amused to read of his being bitten by some sort of culinary bug. I certainly would like to know more about that!
I felt that the many plots in the book were somewhat amusing. As a genre, I feel that the fantasy aspects are quite pronounced and the genre has been well respected. [a:Jason R. Koivu|7732487|Jason R. Koivu|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1393605015p2/7732487.jpg] has presented some very interesting scenarios and the town seems like a downright strange place to live in! The humour was quite charming as well. Though there were strange punch lines, I felt that it was quite amusing and the jokes were well thought out. I laughed out loud to many of the jokes, and am still laughing about some of the funnier ones whenever I think of them. My favourite plot, by far, was reading about the attack clowns.
The illustrations, by [a:Tommy Kovac|547064|Tommy Kovac|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1305309251p2/547064.jpg] were also quite lovely. They continued to provide a youthful innocence to the book. The book quite reminds me of other things I've read. Notably, the stories of [a:Enid Blyton|10657|Enid Blyton|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1298204474p2/10657.jpg] and [b:The Faraway Tree Stories|17490|The Faraway Tree Stories (3-In-1)|Enid Blyton|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388863626s/17490.jpg|19047].
All in all, the entire book was lovingly prepared and Bernard was quite a good chap to spend a few hours with!