“A sincere call for change”

New review by Katriina Rowan

The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl by Paul Thornycroft

Paul Thornycroft’s novel The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl is an acknowledgement of the impact mankind has on the natural world and a sincere call for change. Thornycroft engages deeply with environmental issues as he portrays Mowzl the mouse negotiating his way through the human world and reflecting on mankind’s treatment of nature.

The novel follows Mowzl as he is pulled from his world in the future through a mysterious fog into the human world. Although he is a real mouse in his home world, Mowzl is transformed into a toy in the human world where he is found by a man called Pip. He asks Pip to help him find his way back to his home, whilst Pip hopes that he can help him overcome the sad feelings that trouble him. Mowzl is quick to identify that Pip is suffering because he sees the devastating effect mankind’s greed has on the natural world yet feels unable to stop it. Mowzl explains that humans see themselves as separate from nature and that they do not listen to wildlife. As Mowzl shows his human friends how to listen, Thornycroft gives nature a voice through which mankind’s actions and thoughtlessness are criticised.

Whilst the novel acknowledges and highlights the effect humans’ actions have on nature, it focuses more heavily on the need for a change in the way in which humans consider the environment. In this respect, The Adventures of Horatio Mowzl promotes a mindful understanding of the natural world, raising awareness for environmental issues and leaving the reader with a hopeful sentiment.