The 35th of May, or Conrad's Ride to the South Seas
It was the 35th of May. It was no surprise that Uncle Ringelhuth was not surprised by anything. If that which happened today had happened to him on any other day, he surely would have thought that he or the world would be a few cards short of a deck. But on the 35th of May, one has to be prepared for everything. Also it was a Thursday. Uncle Ringelhuth had just picked up his nephew Konrad from school. Now they were walking down Glacis Street. Konrad looked downtrodden. His uncle did not notice and instead looked forward to lunch … on Thursdays, he and Konrad ate the weirdest food. Sometimes they had cooked ham with whipped cream. Or pretzels with cranberries. Or cherry-cake with English mustard. They preferred English mustard since it is very hot and stings like a bee. After lunch, when they felt really sick, they looked out of the window and laughed so hard that the neighbors thought: "Apothecary Ringelhuth and his nephew have unfortunately lost their minds."
Oh man I’m totally sold! Can a book start any better than that? Hardly…
35th of May is the children fantasy adventure story of stories. It combines many ideas and aspects of other known stories, so if you read it some parts will sound faintly familiar but still totally new and ingenious. It is the dream come true for nerdy book worms like me that love those kinds of tales.
So what happens after the slightly ,ahm, let's just say different food session … Onkel Ringelhut and Konrad step through a 15th century armoire to go to the South Seas, which just seems to be the quickest way according to their roller skating companion horse Negro Caballo. And on their way they pass many wonderful and interesting places.
Here begins Cockaigne
Entry for free!
Children half price!
Well, well Cockaigne is just the land for me! Cherries, apples, pears and plums grow on the same tree and they have small vending machines attached. Turn left lever once: 1 peeled and cut apple.
Turn left lever twice: 1 mixed fruit salad. Turn right lever once: 1 slice plum cake with cream. There are chickens that pulled little pans around and if they see people coming along, they stop and quickly lay fried eggs with ham or omelets with asparagus. If it wouldn’t be for the condition of being incredibly lazy, which is completely doable for me ;), and very very fat (at least 150 kg!) I would totally move there.
So after the wonderful land of Cockaigne they pass the magical medieval castle of the past where Cesar and Napoleon watch a race between Alexander the great and Achilles during the annual Olympics.
And the probably favorite part for the kids might be the upside down world, where children are grownups and send bad parents to reform school.
After walking over the equator to the South Sea they meet little Petersilie (Parsley) the black and white chequered daughter of the chief.
She was my heroin, I always try to call my pets Petersilie but nobody else seems to be as excited about the name as me …
Konrad and his Uncle return home, and Konrad writes a school essay about his trip. His parents think he is has now gone insane, after reading Konrads essay, but he doesn’t care, he knows that everything is true.
And there the book ends …
But just because the book ends there, doesn’t mean that we can’t return the next 35th of May and continue with their adventures…
And now that you guys finally know what this all is about …I invite you again to Enter 35th of May…
Do you want more... then you can read the first 3 chapters on The life and times of Gerrit the socialist