The Worst Breakfast
Two sisters reminisce about the worst breakfast they’ve ever had, and as they describe it, the grossness comes to life around them, complete with yucky, grimy creatures lurking about, feeding on (or perhaps being generated by) the peculiar food graveyard around them.
It’s a simple idea, but the mix of snappy banter between the sisters and the increasingly bizarre imagery in the background as they describe each unappetizing breakfast makes for a surreal reading experience. It’s like Shel Silverstein’s “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out” run amok, a cavalcade of grotesque absurdities unleashed on the reader.
But, of course, it’s all in the spirit of fun and hyperbole. This is a child’s imagination come to life, where a good thing can be the greatest thing in existence and a minor inconvenience snowballs into the most horrendous, atrocious, appalling, not good, very bad meal you’ve ever had.
For any experienced readers of Mieville, you can see his hand in every word written, ricocheting between poetry and prose as it suits him. This probably won’t be the worst breakfast you’ve ever seen, but it might be the weirdest.
China Miéville • Zak Smith, Illustrator