CBR15Passport author new to me.
The publisher description says almost all you need to know about Boris the Potato Child: “a bitter critique of our consumerist impulses and abuses.” Anne Simon created a book that can be violent, exploitative, perverted, and triggering. It is dark, ugly, and powerful. Regardless of if you love or hate, it is a story that can make you think. And Jenna Allen’s translation feels smooth. Outside of a few little quirks, you cannot tell this was not originally English. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but a translation can make or break the enjoyment of reading. And while I did not like Boris the Potato Child, I did enjoy reading.
I read this without having read the first two graphic novels, but it does not feel like you need too. But of course, doing so could fill in some gaps (such as why Boris is a potato headed person, and his mother is a bird-like creature; such as why there are two princesses in exile; such as why a potato headed child only eats French fries).
The story is simple, Boris (a spoiled, bratty a-hole to the bazillion) decides that the perfect world he lives (the people are self-governing after a bitter king, and a horrible war) in gives him no power. He wants to bring back the old kings dystopian world, where he has an army of seemingly naked French fry women catering to his every whim and are bad@ss warriors. He makes paper money and convinces the kingdom that you need money and French fries. He convinces the population little girls are cute and pretty and want to get married. He has a world that once ran smoothly that is now in pure chaos. Not to mention the population is obese and drunk on the Boris beer he also has made. There is a parallel story of a woman (the former aide to the Queen) who is trying to stop this world from happening, with her own school of women power (of course, how she gets her students is a bit questionable).
There are all types of hybrid creatures/characters: a humanoid looking dog/cat that has a horse reins in its mouth, several bird-like creatures, a group of dancing horses that look like they belong in a 1950s “fitness magazine” and more. The type of dress or undress (I think Ronald has only an apron on) is all over the place. There is mental abuse (Boris is truly cruel to his mother) and at least one character falls into prostitution, one is jailed in a hole with snakes, etc.
How could I enjoy reading this? I enjoyed the experience of trying to figure out the message and see where things are going. It is an experience and completely not for everyone. Know your reader, and while at least 14 and up could read, I do not recommend it. This is for adults or very mature readers.