Primary Genre(s): Children, Fiction, Horror
Published: 26 Sep 2013 by Harper Collins Children’s Books
Page count: 443 (print)
My Format: Audiobook via Overdrive
Pacing: A tad slow at times
Ending: Too sad, but epilogue uplifting
Would I recommend it: Maybe
Commission Link: Buy Demon Dentist
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Darkness had come to the town. Strange things were happening in the dead of night. Children would put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but in the morning they would wake up to find… a dead slug; a live spider; hundreds of earwigs creeping and crawling beneath their pillow. Evil was at work. But who or what was behind it…?
I reviewed The BFG by Roald Dahl last week and in my review I gushed about the audiobook version I listened to and the incredible narration by David Walliams. I was curious if Walliams had narrated any other books and to my surprise I found he did… for his own books! I had no idea he was an author. I only knew Walliams from the show Little Britain (he is hilarious as Carol Beer in the Computer Says No skits – look them up on YouTube) and he was brilliantly funny on that show! So, I was super excited to read one of his books right away. Here are my pros and cons for Demon Dentist:
- The audiobook is awesome! Again, that is 100% due to the amazing narration by David Walliams (he has two co-narrators in this book, but Walliams does the lion’s share). Walliams just has an incredible ability to make a story come to life!
- The book has the obligatory fart jokes that most kid’s books seem to have – again, I laughed.
- Walliams informed us at the beginning of the story that some words in the book aren’t actually words, but fun, made-up words for the book. Whenever one of these words was read, a zoink sound (think plucking an out-of-tune guitar string) was played so the listener knew the word wasn’t real. I thought that was cute.
- The book definitely had some funny moments along with some heavier moments (in particular Alfie’s home life with his dad) that I thought were handled well.
- The story seemed a tad scary for kids in my opinion. The author warns in the introduction that this is a horror novel (albeit a kid’s horror novel) and he’s not kidding. If you have a child that is sensitive to scary stories or is scared of the dentist in general, you do NOT want them anywhere near this book. I was cringing in some parts! It is about a demon posing as a dentist on a quest to remove children’s teeth, for heaven’s sake – ALL OF THEIR TEETH. I would have probably been terrified if I’d have read this book as a kid. I’m considering canceling my next dental appointment as it is! LOL
- I thought a few of the scenes in the book were overlong (the improv teacher/romp through the school scene for example) and it got a tad boring a times. Perhaps younger readers would enjoy it more than I did, but it made the book drag a bit for me.
- Personally, I disliked the ending and hated what happened to Alfie’s Dad. It kind of ruined the book for me actually.
Apparently, David Walliams is being touted as the modern day Roald Dahl. Just based on this book (since I haven’t read any of his others yet), I am not seeing the comparison yet. I think Walliams is a really good writer and an unbelievable narrator, but this book simply wasn’t as fantastical and fun as Dahl’s books are (IMO). Perhaps this wasn’t the best Walliams books to start with… I don’t know. All I know is that it was only a middle of the road book for me. That said, I will listen to more audiobooks by Walliams – his narration is simply too good to pass up!
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