“What’s this cute little book?” my wife asked, picking up Miriam Elia and Ezra Elia’s short hardback novelty The Diary of Edward the Hamster 1990-1990. I’m sure this is the hoped-for reaction from the publishers and producers: the reader, attracted to the aesthetics of this small, square (and shiny!) picture book will pick it up and then laugh at its content—see, this hamster thinks, he feels, he writes. And he experiences ennui, existential boredom. Here is the book neatly summed up:
The Diary of Edward the Hamster 1990-1990 is a one-note affair that delivers the same joke over 80 pages. The art is nice and the packaging is lovely, but the premise isn’t really that funny—certainly not funny enough to sustain over the book’s length (which is already pamphlet-short).