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Suffering With A Smile


24 Jan 2024

The Hitchcockian Twist in David Salariya's Darkly Humorous World

The Hitchcockian Twist in David Salariya's Darkly Humorous World

Today, let's take a journey into the intriguing realm where suspense meets dark humor, and where suffering becomes an art form. Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, once famously declared, "Always make the audience suffer as much as possible." While this may seem like a rather audacious approach to storytelling, it captures Hitchcock's unique philosophy that has left an indelible mark on the world of filmmaking.

Interestingly, this philosophy finds an unexpected companion in the world of children's literature. Enter David Salariya, the brilliant mind behind the darkly humorous and delightfully twisted "You Wouldn't Want To Be…" series. If you thought children's books were all rainbows and unicorns, think again. Salariya has taken fictionalised history to a whole new level by making his readers suffer in the most hilarious way possible.

The "You Wouldn't Want To Be…" series takes a daring first-person narrative approach. As you flip through the pages, you'll find yourself walking in the footsteps of some truly awful individuals, navigating through awkward and cringe-worthy situations. What sets this series apart is the masterful touch of illustrator David Antram, who brings these calamities to life with a perfect blend of beauty and comedy.

Now, you might wonder, why on earth would anyone want to make their readers suffer, especially in children's literature? Well, much like Hitchcock, Salariya understands the power of suspense, the thrill of the unexpected, and the joy that can be found in the midst of chaos. The key difference? Salariya achieves this with a generous dose of humor.

In a world where children's literature often leans towards the whimsical and uplifting, Salariya takes a bold leap into the unconventional. He embraces the idea that children, too, can appreciate the art of suffering – as long as it's wrapped up in a package of wit and whimsy.

As we delve into the pages of the "You Wouldn't Want To Be…" series, we find ourselves laughing at the misfortunes befalling the characters. It's a cathartic experience, a chance for readers to explore the darker side of life from a safe distance. In the hands of Salariya and Antram, suffering becomes a form of entertainment, an adventure to be relished rather than feared.

So, the next time you find yourself drawn to a book with a title like "You Wouldn't Want To Be an Egyptian Mummy" or "You Wouldn't Want To Sail On The Titanic!" remember that you're in for a unique and delightfully twisted ride. Salariya and Antram and a host of writers including Salariya writing as David Stewart have mastered the art of making readers suffer – and they do it with a smile.

In the end, perhaps there's a lesson to be learned from these masters of suspense and dark humor. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but if we can find a way to laugh in the face of adversity, we might just come out on the other side with a newfound appreciation for the beautifully chaotic nature of our existence.

So, dear readers, embrace the suffering, relish the humor, and remember: sometimes, a good laugh is the best way to navigate through the awkward and unpredictable journey of life.

The You Wouldn’t Want to be series….. is published by Scholastic and is celebrating 25 years of being in print with over 70 titles.

David Salariya creates, designs, writes and publishes entertaining non-fiction and fiction children’s books for all ages, promoting lifelong literacy, representation and inclusion to a diverse audience. David Salariya’s notable achievement is his ability to create books which are both informative and engaging, he has won many book awards. He combines factual information with vibrant illustrations, brilliant design and humour to make complex subjects accessible to young minds.

Published by The Ritz Herald - People & Culture: Culture Editor D'ARCY SARDONE

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