‘Welfy Q. Deederhoth’ Book Review
“Life is nothing if not a struggle between our better and worse impulses.”
Welfy Q. Deederhoth: Meat Purveyor, World Savior is a book for ages nine and up. Typically if a book goes that young for readership, it’s a lie to say “nine and up” instead of “nine to twelve.” Modern books that can be read and understood by youngsters, as we know, have lost meaningful implied themes, beautiful writing, and pretty much anything that deals with real life struggles other than getting bullied.
And yet, there are always exceptions. J.K. Rowling did a spectacular job writing a masterpiece truly for all ages. Neil Gaiman expertly crafts stories in every age range. Now, Eric Laster has given us Welfy Q. Deederhoth.
It’s a short little read, just under 200 pages, dabbled with adorable sketches. But the depth that comes from reading about realistic struggles such as homeless children in New York City is something which is few and far between for Young Adult Literature. The story incorporates awesome writing, beautiful and flowing, and a fun plot despite some of the heavy subjects.
Fun, you say? Involving homeless children? What sort of sadistic reviewer would write these things? Well the fun comes with the introduction of science fiction. Welfy, the main character is basically the scum of the earth; yet when he finds his way into an alternate realm filled with alien beings, he becomes the prophesied “one” who will save an entire race. The seriousness is further imposed upon when the weapons used to fight much of the hostile aliens resemble condiments and deli meats or fighting techniques from Welfy’s favorite spaceship arcade game.
Weaving back and forth between reality and the otherworldly realm, the story is convincing in a way that doesn’t go over the top explaining the science. Sure it seems unlikely that the alien race would use something that looks just like ketchup for battle, but who cares? It’s not about realistic science. (Finally getting back to just enjoying science fiction for its own sake).
The only thing I wish the story had more of? I just wish there were simply more. It’s so simple and beautifully written, and I still wanted to keep reading. I wanted to know more about the history of the children, I wanted to know more about the alien race they became involved with. All around the story could have used more background information. And yet, that may take away from the grand scheme of things in the long run. After all, aren’t we getting to the point where all books are well over 400 pages, even in Young Adult Lit?
As it is, the quick read may be all it needs. Let’s just say, if this were to be made into a movie (and I believe it should), there wouldn’t be any complaints that too much would be left out. Every page is essential.
Overall, if you’re an adult looking for a short and meaningful read, pick up Welfy Q. Deederhoth. Looking for a kid’s book? It’s perfect.