Everyone knows the story of Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet who came alive, but how much do we know about Geppetto, the man who created him? Edward Carey presents his story in the form of Geppetto’s journal, written while inside the whale, where he has plenty of time to reflect on what he has done.

I enjoyed the part where Geppetto first makes Pinocchio and he comes alive, how unnatural he seems and how much he does not want the puppet to exist. He is cruel at first, but after Pinocchio runs away, he has time to consider how he behaved. He sees that he was a father and he lashed out, in horror and surprise.

Geppetto goes a bit strange while living in the whale, befriending inanimate objects and drawing and sculpting using found items. I love Edward Carey’s style of drawing. Those included with the text represent what Geppetto created when trapped. I was a little disappointed that not all of it was printed full page and some ended up quite small. I appreciate Belgravia Books sending me some postcards with my order!


You can also view photos of the sculptures on Edward’s website.

I didn’t really connect with the sections that were about Geppetto’s history so much. He talks about what he has lost, but I liked the weirder sections more. It took me a lot longer to read than a 160 page books should have done.

While The Swallowed Man didn’t grab me, I still intend on giving Little a chance.

20 Books of Summer #5

Goodreads | Amazon* | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery | Blackwell’s* | Bookshop.org*

*indicates an affiliate link