Uncovered! by Paul Jennings

There are quite a number of short story collections in the “Un-” series by Paul Jennings: Unreal!, Unbelievable!, Uncanny!, etc. After reading the first one, I could have picked another at random, but the title of one story in the volume Uncovered! caught my attention. It was called “Pubic Hare.” Recognising Jennings’s brand of slightly risque humour for kids, I plunged ahead.

Imagine my surprise when the first story, “For Ever,” turned out to be a deliberately humourless melancholic drama about a boy who’s terminally ill. I have no problem with being surprised, but the story was too sentimental for my taste. There are a couple more stories (of the ten in total) that are semi-serious. The rest are in keeping with Jenning’s usual brand of wacky comedy, covering such topics as seing ghosts, bed-wetting, growing pubic hair, and even eating a cat-turd!

My favourite was one of the more serious stories: a time-travel tale called “Backward Step.” The majority of the others I found a bit, well, lacking in imagination.

Jennings’s Wikipedia page shows that several of his “Un-” books have picked up multiple awards. I couldn’t help but notice that, in contrast, Uncovered! only picked up one single award. I haven’t read enough of Jennings’s books to make an objective comparison, but my suspicion is that this is one of his weaker efforts.

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3 thoughts on “Uncovered! by Paul Jennings

  1. samuel says:

    the books are great, that’s not a normal story and it is cool.

  2. Susannah S. says:

    Wow, you seem to be well-read! Maybe you can help me with a nagging memory? Once upon a time, at least 10 years ago but probably longer, I read a short story and I’ve never been able to completely forget it. All I can remember is that the protagonist was a woman and she either fell or was pushed into a well or other underground watery cavern-type place and she could not escape. She was either married or engaged, and pregnant. She gave birth and raised the child underground-I’m fairly sure it was a boy. I can’t remember if they ever escaped or not–I want to say he found a way out and possibly murdered the father.
    I thought this was in the anthology “Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural” but I was wrong. By any chance, do you recognize it?

  3. Darryl Sloan says:

    Sorry, never heard of it. Sounds fascinating, though.

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