“Ignatius Macfarland: Frequenaut!” by Paul Feig

Ignatius Macfarland: Frequenaut! by Paul Feig was recommended to me by a fellow Freaks and Geeks fan. Along with Judd Apatow, Feig was one of the show’s creators, and went on to direct episodes of several comedies, like Apatow’s Undeclared, Arrested Development, 30 Rock and The Office, all of which I like a great deal.

I like Feig’s work, so I was disappointed when I didn’t like Feig’s book.

Ignatius is a typically Feig-ian outcast. He’s twelve, has few friends, doesn’t connect with his parents and gets picked on at school. He fantasizes about alien abduction and space travel to get away from it all. When he and his friends build a spaceship, he gets his wish. Sort of. He’s transported to an alternate “frequency” of Earth, one that has a few other former members of his town, who also got caught in explosions. One of them is Karen, a badass goth girl, and another is Chester L. Arthur, a former English teacher with delusions of grandeur who has subjugated many of the strange-creature natives, taken over as “President” and tries to pass off other people from Earth’s best creations as his own. Iggy and Karen meet up with a race of flying intellectuals, then are caught in a race war while being chased by Arthur’s army. Throughout, Iggy provides commentary as well as story. It’s supposed to be funny, but instead I found it tiring.

My name is Ignatius MacFarland, and I am a Frequenaut.

Hmm. I guess it looks sort of weird to see it written down that way. I don’t mean it’s weird to see my name written down. I mean the word Frequenaut. It almost looks like it’s French. It’s not, though. At least not that I know of.

This is a young boy adventure, and it might appeal to young boys and people who were at some point young boys. It failed to connect with me, from its meandering plot to its end that wasn’t an ending, but instead a thin bridge to a sequel I don’t care to seek out. I wanted to like it, but couldn’t.

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