Title: Peace Breeds Forgetfulness
Author: G. E. Becker
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Peace Breeds Forgetfulness is about a group of herbivores and their lives that are lived in a constant danger of the predators. Central to the book is the safe dream world of Weshallsee kingdom. The book is about the problems that these animals face living together as a community in the glorious Weshallsee kingdom.
Set in the semi-savannah of Africa, a beautiful but harsh landscape, G.E. Becker’s wonderfully imaginative book tells of the struggles to survive for a group of assorted herbivores, whose lives are lived out in constant fear of the lurking predators that surround them.
Driven by a desire to find the glorious safe land they have heard of only in the tales of migrating birds, the animals set off on a long trek to find their ‘Shangri-la’, certain in the knowledge that the tall, dry grass that covers the landscape conceals a possible quick and violent death for any one of them.
Led by the intrepid and enterprising Billy the Goat and encouraged by the boisterous but determined cock, Henry Rooster, the herd set off to find the mythical Kingdom of Weshallsee.
So the book presents a fantasy world where the animals can speak and are living as humans in the kingdom which can only exist in fantasy. The fantastical world of the book is coloured with some lovely illustrations. Each chapter carries an illustration. The chapters are episodic in nature, narrating one event at a time in the pattern of what happened next.
I was excited to pick up this book because I was curious to know what all could possibly happen in the lives of these animals. Also I wanted to be a part of these animals on their quest for the mythical world of Weshallsee. But to my surprise, which actually turned out to be a disappointment, there was no quest. The book opens with the animals already living in the Weshallsee kingdom.
The problematic thread in the plot raises head in the second chapter itself and the rest of the book is devoted to the working out of a resolution. It so happens that an old member of the Weshallsee kingdom, a deer called Tomah levies some allegation on their leader Billy the goat. This leads to a feud which is paralleled by a conspiracy to gain the throne of the Weshallsee kingdom.
That’s all about the plot, in short. Now this was something quite opposite of what I expected the storyline to be. That was the major disappointment for me. But then plot lacked unity. It wasn’t a smooth ride for me. The character, although having traits like human, felt distanced to me. I didn’t care even a bit for what was going to happen to them.
The narrative sort of lacked clarity. What was happening and why it was happening remained misty throughout the book. I was kind of lost while reading this book. I had thoughts of DNFing it but decided to give it another chance. So, I read about 40 pages once again to get a better sense. I did get some clarity but it didn’t enhance my reading experience
The book has been classified into the genre ‘Humour’ but I failed to appreciated any kind of humour. Some illustrations did seem humorous but nothing more than that. I guess, it is meant for younger readers. For me the book had hazy opening and a hazy ending. I had no idea what was the author’s intention in writing. Perhaps I failed as a reader. But I couldn’t enjoy this book.
My Rating: **(2/5)
What do you think about this book? Do you think you would have enjoyed it more? Do share your thoughts. Thanks.
*I was kindly sent a review copy by the Publisher. Views expressed are entirely personal and unbiased.*