Preincarnate by Shaun Micallef

This is Shaun Micallef’s (The Leading Australian Comedian of the Entire Cosmos) first novella, linking such matters as Jack the Ripper, Tom Cruise, time travel, Freemasons, space travel and Matthew Reilly all together in one reasonable size book. It is not for the faint hearted, nor those who simply don’t ‘get’ Micallef. (I’m not talking about Talking About Your Generation but if you simply do not see the wisdom of David McGahan’s world around him, Dr Miracle and futility of Panadol now Panadol Rapid is available, you don’t need this book. You probably would prefer Dave Hughes or Good News Week).

Preincarnate is based on the past, present and future all at once in some sort of time continuum, which may be linked to Buddhism, Dr Who or none of the above. We have poor Alexander Pruitt who is repeatedly sucked into a time ripple and his attempted saviour who is probably the Rector of St Ives. The Rector travels to an ossuary in Paris, meets Tom Cruise in LA and tries to stop the evil Doctor Moray. Doctor Moray is involved with Oliver and Richard Cromwell, Queen Victoria, HG Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to name a few. Will Alexander be removed to a single time period? What about the mysterious Una?

Take Preincarnate as it presents and try not to overanalyse. I think this is a book that would benefit from a second read (just in case you missed the badgers). The illustrations remind me of something out of a UK Magazine Annual and definitely add to the book pages (okay, and a moment to ponder). Shaun Micallef is a very witty writer and I can’t wait to see his next book. If you simply can’t finish this book, please at least read the back pages of Suggested Reading and Future Titles – these are hilarious. (Ancient Map Folding or Gas Pressure Readings in Adelaide, June –July 1934 anyone?)

I read this as an ebook, and could not put it down. The only bug bear was flipping to the foot notes (a link would have been nice).

Read it if: you are a willing participant of Shaun Micallef’s world. We can only live in it.

8.5 out of 10.

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