Miriam Elia & Ezra Elia
Boxtree (2012), 85 pages
Any book with a picture of a smoking hamster on the front cover can’t be all bad. Indeed this was a book that I picked up because I’d judged the cover to be superior to the usual hamster diary cover. As the cover plainly states this is the diary of one Edward, a hamster, during his one year tenure in his mortal cage. Edward tries to escape the physical confines of his situation by using his enormous intellect to try and construct a meaning to his little life.
Edward clearly draws on a gloomy existentialism but he is, at times, willing to take action in the forms of physical attack or an abortive attempt at a hunger strike, “2.33 p.m. Two minutes into hunger strike. I am strong and determined. 2.36pm. Five minutes now. Beginning to feel weak. . . . 2.45pm. I have lost a gram. Maybe more” (p.23-26).
This book is ideal for the intelligent reader who is already well versed in the works of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sarte. It is not a particuarly long book but the combination of hilarious text and monochrome illustrations perfectly capture the dynamism of Edward’s rodent musings.