Title: The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas
Author: Cal King
Illustrator: Sean Bright
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Genre: Non-fiction, Humour, Joke book
Book format: Paperback
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Description: It’s said that everyone has a book inside them.  Hapless would-be writer Cal King doesn’t have just one though – he’s bursting with ideas for everything from children’s books to (in his mind) prize-winning novels.  Unfortunately all his ideas are terrible.  Cal was initially hurt when it was suggested he compile his pitches into a collection of ‘ridiculous book ideas’. But, driven by an all-consuming need for approval, he agreed. He hopes his ideas will prove to be an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamt of being an author. His publisher thinks they’ll make you laugh out loud…

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review: This book really put a smile on my face and is perfect for anyone wanting a quick laugh. Cal King is bursting with ideas for lots of different books, but the trouble is that none of his ideas are really that good. That didn’t stop him pitching his ideas to a publisher though, and the result is this book!

The French Exchange Whale book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

‘The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas’ is exactly what it’s name suggests, a collection of book ideas, all of them very funny (most of them not very good), and each of them listed here along with a brief description and an illustration of the book cover to match. The book starts with a brief introduction from the author, and another one from the publisher, before launching straight into the book ideas. Each one of these potential novels has a title, a tagline and a short synopsis which is usually no more than a page in length with a funny cover illustration on the other side of each double page. Although the book can easily be dipped into and read in any order, the recurring titles make it funnier if you read the book in order.

Like any joke book out there, this is all about having some silly fun and for me this book didn’t disappoint. I didn’t find each title hilarious but they were all silly and raised a smile. Some were definitely funnier than others, such as ‘Como Se Llama?’ Learn Spanish with Llamas, ‘Gordon’s New Trousers’ which doesn’t sound funny unless you see the picture and read the synopsis (Gordon is a highland cow) and I love ‘The Chartered Surveyors’ and the silly descriptions. The pictures really helped make this book much funnier than it would be without them. Each illustration is black and white and I love the simple yet fun design.

The French Exchange Whale book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

This book might be a short read, but it’s funny and one I keep looking back at whenever I feel like a quick laugh. There are a lot of book ideas and, strangely, I can imagine some funny (if slightly ridiculous) movies being made out of them. A few titles even had me laughing aloud. I’d certainly recommend this book for some silly fun, especially as a gift for anyone who enjoys funny books.

-Review first appeared online September 2017 – now republished here.


What do you think of this book?  Do you like funny books like this?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂