Mungai and the Goa Constrictor by Amelia Curzon is a wonderful story. It is allegorical in the tradition of Animal Farm, and I must admit I am a fan of allegories, but it is also a witty and fascinating story filled with a splendid collection of characters. There are important messages in this book. Themes such as responsibility, needs versus desires, and trustworthiness are woven into the plot. There is also wit and whimsy and a cast of thoroughly enjoyable animal characters.
Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a fairly quick read and the action moves swiftly. There is never a dull moment. Many of the interactions between the animals will seem familiar as indeed they are insightful into human society. The animals have a certain irrepressible spirit that shines through, even in the worst situations, which is authentically heartening. One can’t help but despair, however, at the damage Mungai and Goa inflict upon the others through their greedy and self-centered behaviors.
Mungai is a sneaky and manipulative creature. He is not quite lovable, but certainly unforgettable! I think we have all met a Mungai at some point in our lives! There are also many animals on the good side of things. I liked Caw-Caw the crow and, of course, the outrageously named Captain Gerald Rupert Horatio Peanuts Brice-Copperbottom! Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a charming story filled with much wisdom of the sort the world so desperately needs. I highly recommend it!
Book review by Jason Sullivan