REVIEWS

THE MESSIES

Radikal Book Supplement

By Devrim Yılmaz

Publication Date: November 20, 2015

WELCOME TO MESSY TOWN

A witty town by Mavisel Yener... One of the most important children’s literature penner tells a page-turner story full of adventure and draws attention to public memory with the Messy Town she’s created.

People from other places immediately wipe out fingerprints from coffee tables and glasses, can you believe it?  If you are surprised too, come to this town; they don’t waste time on silly things such as dust, spots, tidying their mess or looking for lost documents.

While Mavisel Yener, in the first book of the series, The Messies - Dangerous Monkey, takes the reader on a journey full of fun and adventure in a town where such troubles do not exist, she also helps the residents of the town to become acquainted with their history that they didn’t even know existed.

The residents of Messy Town, who don’t even waste their time on looking for their lost things, of course, don’t pay much attention to who the man that comes to town one day wearing weird clothes and walking around with a monkey is. Somehow this mysterious man actually draws Massivemess’s attention but as everybody ignores him, she quickly forgets the man as well. Besides, Massivemess is up to more important things. She needs to trick her grandfather and grandmother, take hold of the computer they won from a sweepstake, and prepare for a party.

Although we get a little mad at Massivemess as she terrifies her grandmother and grandfather by wearing glows and a mask before approaching their computer to be protected from computer viruses, one cannot help but laugh at the conversation that takes place between them. After all, her grandfather gets back at her by winning the argument about the shopping mall.

Although Messy Law clause four states that “A Messy should know all the basic methods of persuasion and use all his/her creativity”, this law is of no use when Massivemess plans to drag the sweet oldies to the mall. Neither the fact that the restaurant and the pudding shop are located side by side, nor the existence of toilets and elevators can convince this witty grandfather.

“A kebab shop where cats cannot enter is no kebab shop to me, and there is not even a junk dealer, weren’t we supposed to find everything in the shopping malls? So it is the place where people who cannot hold their pees go shopping.”

While we listen to the grandfather, an old marketplace with a greengrocer, a haberdasher, and a hardware shop comes to mind. Her grandfather is not interested in the fact that life gets easier with shopping malls; he is more concerned about the culture, the soul, and loyalty to the past.

As Massivemess does not have such concerns, she quickly gives up on her attempts of persuading them and gets down to her birthday plans. The thing that happens after a great birthday party marks the beginning of fear and confusion in Messy Town. As notable people of the town get kidnapped one by one, gossips and panic gradually escalate. Unfortunately, they neither have the knowledge nor archives or a past that they could look back and consult in order to solve these events. Therefore, we see how the Messy Law that states “Messies never lose time to search for their lost belongings,” fails. In that point, the stranger in town once again becomes the main topic of conversation and arouses curiosity of Massivemess and her friends. Who is this mysterious man? Could all these events be connected to him and his monkey? The real adventure begins with these questions.

The author describes how societies that do not have any memory or knowledge about their past, that have a damaged public memory and historical awareness falter in times of crisis in a page-turner adventure.

Just when we are thinking “what a laid back society, what a great town,” we realize that we are actually reading a story on the value of the traces of history in understanding our present. Where is this town, you ask? As it is stated in the beginning of the book; “Dear reader, it is up to you! The Messy Town can be far away from where you live, or close by…”

 

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