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The Magic Pudding

Norman Lindsay

Book Overview: 

Bunyip Bluegum the koala sets out on his travels taking only a walking stick. At about lunchtime, feeling more than slightly peckish, he meets Bill Barnacle the sailor and Sam Sawnoff the penguin who are eating a pudding. The pudding is a magic one which, no matter how much you eat it, always reforms into a whole pudding again. He is called Albert, has thin arms and legs and is a bad-tempered, ill-mannered so-and-so into the bargain. His only pleasure is being eaten. The book is divided into four "slices" instead of chapters. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Whose thoughts are fixed on Spanish gold."
'So one fine day I runs away
A Pirate for to be;
But I found there was never a Pirate left
On the coast of Caribbee.
'For Pirates go, but their next of kin
Are Merchant Captains, hard as sin,
And Merchant Mates as hard as nails
Aboard of every ship that sails.[Pg 31]
'And I worked aloft and I worked below,
I worked wherever I had to go,
And the winds blew hard and the winds blew cold,
And I sez to meself as the ship she rolled,
'"O Caribbee! O Barbaree!
O shores of South Amerikee!
O, never go there: if the truth be told,
You'll get more kicks than Spanish gold."'

'And that's the truth, mate,' said Bill to Bunyip Bluegum. 'There ain't no pirates nowadays at sea, except western ocean First Mates, and many's the bootin' I've had for not takin' in the slack of the topsail halyards fast enough to suit thei. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I had a big reorganising of my bookshelves a few weeks ago, and found, tucked away on the bottom shelf of one bookcase alongside random books - Japanese dictionaries and textbooks, old teen books from when I was a teen, a Jamima Puddleduck book and various other odds and ends - this old Australia...more

"Gentlemen," said the Judge, "I must remind you that we require a Review!"

"We don't needs no Review," replied Sam rudely, "We just needs to get away from them rascally Puddin'-thieves." And he pointed to the Wombat and the Possum, lurking in the comment thread, who looked up with a guilty start.

"...more

I couldn’t remember whether I’d ever read this before or not, and now I’m finished, I’m still not sure!

It is a children’s book, but a classic one - not sure how many kids of today would read it. It is funny - about a pudding which no matter how much you eat never gets consumed, and the pudding ow...more

Very surreal and very Australian. Probably too much so for my kids. Will leave it in reasonably prime bookshelf real estate, though, just in case one of them picks it up.

Norman Lindsay was one of Australia’s most famous and controversial artists, and his brilliant drawings alone would be reason enough to add The Magic Pudding to anyone’s library, but the text (which he also wrote) is bloody hilarious.

Which character is funniest - the hook-nosed, insolent parrot?...more

3.5★s

Albert (the magic pudding's name), was surrounded by his owners – Sailor Bill, Bunyip Bluegum and Sam Sawnoff. The pudding was steak and kidney, but when whistled at and turned around, it was something else. It also never ran out – because it was magic. The pudding thieves tried and tried ag...more

"The funniest children's book ever written"? I don't think so. But then, Philip Pullman, who wrote the introduction, never struck me as being much good at humor himself. It's a fine introduction, though, especially for a children's book. Pullman obviously loves the puddin' adventures and his exci...more

Read this one a while ago. Just remembering it for reasons too complicated and silly to repeat here. This is pretty absurd fun about a living and treacherous pudding and its travel companions (as all keepers of the pudding come to discover, it's hard to be in possession of a pudding that everybod...more

I came to re-read this beloved book from my childhood recently as a kind of companion volume to the biography of it's author that I was at the time reading. Having read the circumstances around The Magic Pudding being written I simply had to re-read it.

It stands the tests of time very well, but w...more

Phillip Pullman says The Magic Pudding, Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is his favourite book. He maintains that it is, "the funniest children's book ever written." And the "New York Review of Books" calls it, "Wild and woolly, funny and outrag...more

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