How Many Lives Has Scruffo? Is a light read for those who can relate to the 1950s and who might enjoy a chuckle mixed with a nostalgic return to a bygone era.
The book opens in 1958 with an introduction to Harold Scuffington, who is the vicar of the village of Woldenham, England.
At the local Christmas fayre a magician uses a vanishing cabinet and asks Harold to be his assistant. He disappears, only to reappear as a cat elsewhere. The name on his collar is Scruffo. He finds that he cannot return to 1958 and his human form until later, when he is dealt a life ending blow. Scruffo’s adventures with Harold continue as he uses up more than his nine lives while time-traveling to a variety of future places.
Written in a comedy style that echoes the era, Harold’s adventures as both Scruffo and himself have an element of slapstick about them. I became quite fond of Monica, Harold’s friend and confidante, and the only other person who knew he changed into a cat. She was endlessly patient and understanding. One of my favourite episodes was Scruffo’s trip to the library, but I won’t say anymore and spoil the story.
Overall a book for those looking for a nostalgic trip to yesteryear mixed with a bit of wholesome fun.
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As the opening lines say, “becoming a cat was a surprise to the Reverend Harold Scuffington.” From the moment we meet Harold, we see the immense complications to a man’s life that becoming a cat can bring… especially if it is a cat like Scuffo… If he isn’t under a bed, he is in it and what he sees, hears and experiences will change Harold’s life forever!
Mac Black has returned to writing for adults with this fantastical and imaginative story of a Vicar, a cat and the consequences of rhubarb tarts…