‘Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs’
By Michael Gerard Bauer
Published by Templar Publishing June 2012
Reviewed by Lynsey Evans
‘Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs’ landed in the review pile days before I went on holiday and it became part of my holiday reading! I read ‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’ a while ago, but it was a hilarious read, so I had high hopes for the sequel.
It rocks harder than The Dugongs, is just as hilarious and has me praying to the universe for Ishmael and Razza to come on a student exchange to Rudge Park Comprehensive and see what mayhem they could cause with our very own Inbetweeners – as Ishmael and Razza are the Australian literary version. Brilliant!
Bask in second-hand embarrassment as Ishmael gets caught at a party weeing in the pool (but he didn’t) and reading Kelly’s diary, to Razza’s motormouth that gets him in to trouble more than once. Share in the cool delights of the debating team, amazing maths talk and poetry. Yes – all these are made cool in this book. I’m biased I love poetry, so the injections of poetry quotes and song lyrics are a great touch and add another something to the book.
We have insights into bully Barry Bagsley’s life this time, and our fave geeks Prinadel the maths genius and Scobie the master of reason are back too. There’s not a lot of man time for the lads this novel, it’s Ishmael and Razza getting all loved up, but in a fun, witty way – don’t worry lads it’s not all mushy lovey dovey stuff at all. Even Razza’s sonnet ‘Hot or What’ is dodgy – educating you about the pitfalls of writing your own love poem to win a girl!
As all this is going on, Ishmael’s dad’s old band are planning a 20-year reunion gig – ‘The Return of the Dugongs’, but wrought with problems it looks as if the concert may have to be cancelled, until Ishmael’s great idea saves the day.
This book is blast – whether you’re a boy or girl, you’ll enjoy the adventure, the love, the fun, the cringe-worthy predicaments and the rock and roll.
Highly recommended for ages 11+