Bullied 'Loser', peanut tale take Dahl 'funny book' honors

Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:25am EST
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By Simon Falush

LONDON (Reuters) - The fictional diary of Barry Loser, an unfortunately named schoolboy, and a second book about two creatures tussling over a peanut in a shell won this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize on Tuesday.

The prize, now in its sixth year, was inspired by Dahl, who wrote much-loved children's classics including "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "James and the Giant Peach", featuring dark humor and wry plot twists.

The winners picked up their prizes at the London theatre that hosts the musical based on Dahl's book "Matilda" at a ceremony organized by the British literary charity Booktrust.

"I Am Still Not a Loser" by Jim Smith - the second book in the Barry Loser series - was judged the funniest book in the children aged 7-14 category.

"It's based on me when I was a kid, getting into scrapes and having flights of fancy," Smith told Reuters at the award ceremony.

Smith is writing his fifth book in the series and said there would be at least six Loser titles, as well as a spin-off based on Barry's TV hero Future Ratboy.

The books recount the daily life of the hapless hero and his battles with school bully Darren Darrenofski.

"The old adage that no one likes a loser is gloriously subverted with Barry who is both lovable and hilarious," said Michael Rosen, chairman of the judges' panel.   Continued...