Child & Adolescent Development: Overview

Review of "Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas"

By Louise Rennison
Avon Tempest, 2002
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on May 28th 2002
Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas

It might be worth explaining the origin of the word in the title of the book:

Nunga nungas is what Ellen’s brother and his mates call girls’ basoomas.  He says it is because if you pull a girl’s breast and let it go…..it goes nunga-nunga-nunga.  He is obviously a touch on the mental side.

This third book of “confessions of Georgia Nicolson” by Louise Rennison continues the tale of 15-year-old girl’s obsession about boys – especially her boyfriend Robbie, a.k.a. “Sex God” who plays in a band, “The Stiff Dylans – and the total embarrassment and inconvenience caused by her family.  Georgia continues to have a great way with words; here’s a typical entry:

Tuesday November 2nd, 10.00 p.m.

I must stop being jelloid woman every time I see the Sex God.

Why oh why did I day “I’m away laughing on a fast camel” instead of goodbye?  What is the matter with me?

However on the whole taking things by and large….Yessssssss!!!!!

I live at Snogging Headquarters.  My address is

Georgia Nicolson

Snogging Headquarters

Snog Lane

Snoggington.

American readers of the previous books in the series should already know that a snog is an encounter between two people (normally young) involving enthusiastic kissing with plenty of exchanges of bodily fluids and often accompanied by furtive groping.  (It is part of Georgia’s beliefs that married people do not snog, and that it’s disgusting for adults to engage in any such activity.)

            Much of Knocked Out concerns Georgia’s enthusiasm for snogging, the details how to snog (for example, whether it is best to use lip-gloss or lipstick or both if you know you will be snogging later on), and where her friends and their boyfriends are on the snogging scale.  The snogging scale starts at 1 (holding hands), going through 4 (kiss lasting over three minutes without a breath) and 7 (upper body fondling – indoors (in bed)) to 10 (the full monty).  The rest of the book is devoted to the family holiday to Scotland, or “Och aye land” as she calls it, and her cat Angus, who continues to run amok in their neighborhood, even after Georgia’s father insists on taking him to the vet for an operation causing irreparable damage to his masculinity. 

            Although Georgia is not a great student, and shows no more respect for her parents than Bart Simpson, she seems pretty healthy in her growing confidence about her relationships with boys and her friendships with girls.  Her greatest strength is her use of language, since it is both very funny and evocative.  Although Americans may be slightly baffled by her words (helpfully, there is a glossary at the back of the book for the perplexed), at least Anglophiles will take great pleasure in Georgia’s rantings. 

 

© 2002 Christian Perring. First Serial Rights.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life, and he is keen to help foster communication between philosophers, mental health professionals, and the general public.

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