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Book Review : Storm by Tim Minchin (Orion Books)

storm cover
October sees the release  of Tim Michin’s illustrated book Storm which is based on the hit online animation of the same name.

Tim Minchin is a award-winning Australian musician, songwriter, actor and comedian who had developed his own unique brand of musical comedy over the last decade and attracted a growing number of fans along the way.
In the introduction to the book, Michin relates the origins of Storm which was a short song he used to play called ‘If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take my Wife) ‘. He wanted to develop the idea further but could not find the right vehicle until a fateful dinner party. His discussions with a fellow diner provided the main focus of what became a sort of beat poem, which Michin used to end his comedy show. It was at one of these comedy shows that the poem attracted the attention of Tracy King and DC Turner who asked Minchin permission to produce an animation based on the poem. Two years later the animation was launched at an Animation festival at Bristol and uploaded to You Tube, where it has to date been viewed around three million times.

The scene of the poem is a dinner party in a North London flat, Tim and his wife are the guests of longstanding friends. Another guest has been invited, a young woman whose name is Storm, when she arrives Tim is rather stuck with her attractiveness but becomes slightly unsettled when he notices that she has a tattoo of a fairy just above her ‘ derriere’. As soon as the introductions are over and the wine begins to flow, the battle begins.

It seems that Storm is a hippy at heart and professes belief in astrology and natural remedies, Tim a rationalist at heart grows more and more exasperated until delivering a rant about how can people believe in unproven beliefs whilst science has opened up so many worlds of wonder.

Although the verbal and intellectual battle is the main focus, a great deal of the humour comes from Tim’s awareness that the other guests are often frozen in fear about what will happen next.

The illustrated book provides plenty of visual fun by illustrating some of Tim’s more outlandish remarks and shows that his battle is not just with Storm but with his own thought processes. The reference to Scooby Doo is a wonderful scene where the dinner party guests assume the guise of the characters of the animated cartoon.

The success of the Storm is that it works on many different levels, although many people celebrate the poem as an anthem for critical thinking there is far more to it than that. It charts a debate where there are no winners or losers  but people entrenched in their own world view. Tim’s rant on rational thinking is often irrational and Storm’s irrational ideas are often presented rationally, therefore  further confusing  the issues.

Storm is an unusual book  that brings together ideas, poetry and comic book type illustrations which perfectly complement each other. Tim Minchin’s dazzling wordplay and DC Hunters impressive artwork provide a book that may ask big questions but does so with humour and self parody

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy, visit the Orion website here

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