Book Review: "Our Kingdom of Dust"


#1

I am a guy that spends a lot of time reading. Seriously, a LOT of time reading. For the past couple of years, I have read a ton of Disney books. Mousejunkies, Cast Member Confidential, DW Secrets, Behind the Magic, you name it. One I always loved, and loved the youtube vids too was “Darkside of Disney”. I always loved reading his stories of stuff I would never have the guts to do, but love that someone had no problem of finding out if it was possible.

The Darkside stuff was written by Leonard Kinsey. This week, a friend turned me on to the vids he had up about the Efteling park in the Netherlands. I was blown away by the blatant Disney rip offs at the place, and frankly, the horrible racism inherent in the place. Looking at comments on his vids, I noticed a new book he had written, “Our Kingdom of Dust”.

So, being me, and having my iPad in my lap, I had to look it up. $2.99. What the heck? Let’s read it.

Okay, I loved it! Great book! I thought at first it was going to be like Cast Member Confidential meets Kingdom Keepers but boy was I wrong. Rough language, rough imagery of hurt and pained Disney employees and Disney fans, but I loved very second of it.

Great book. Check it out. I never read stuff like that, but this one was great. I hope you guys like it too! I loved the whole idea of it. Even Disney employees and lovers have problems too.


#2

Well you sold it to me! I too am intrigued by the darker side of Disney - it can’t all be flowers, butterflies and singing birds!
Thanks for the info.


#3

[QUOTE=cjtownman;1126324]I am a guy that spends a lot of time reading. Seriously, a LOT of time reading. For the past couple of years, I have read a ton of Disney books. Mousejunkies, Cast Member Confidential, DW Secrets, Behind the Magic, you name it. One I always loved, and loved the youtube vids too was “Darkside of Disney”. I always loved reading his stories of stuff I would never have the guts to do, but love that someone had no problem of finding out if it was possible.

The Darkside stuff was written by Leonard Kinsey. This week, a friend turned me on to the vids he had up about the Efteling park in the Netherlands. I was blown away by the blatant Disney rip offs at the place, and frankly, the horrible racism inherent in the place. Looking at comments on his vids, I noticed a new book he had written, “Our Kingdom of Dust”.

So, being me, and having my iPad in my lap, I had to look it up. $2.99. What the heck? Let’s read it.

Okay, I loved it! Great book! I thought at first it was going to be like Cast Member Confidential meets Kingdom Keepers but boy was I wrong. Rough language, rough imagery of hurt and pained Disney employees and Disney fans, but I loved very second of it.

Great book. Check it out. I never read stuff like that, but this one was great. I hope you guys like it too! I loved the whole idea of it. Even Disney employees and lovers have problems too.[/QUOTE]

From Wiki:

Efteling has a good relationship with the Disney theme parks. Disneyland Paris consulted Efteling during its construction and design phase, in order to adapt the American park to European culture. As a token of appreciation the Disney Company gave Efteling a small statue. Ton van de Ven, who designed many of Efteling’s attractions, is also a good friend of Disney’s Tony Baxter (senior vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering). The relationship between the two parks was emphasized when Efteling won the 2004 Thea Classic Award, the highest honour awarded by the Themed Entertainment Association: Efteling had, as it turned out, been nominated by Tony Baxter.

There is in fact a legend of sorts connecting Disney and Efteling: for years, rumors have circulated that Walt Disney got his inspiration for Disneyland (which opened in 1955), from Efteling (which opened in 1952) — and in the early 1950s Walt Disney travelled to Europe a few times, visiting tourist attractions. Reportedly, a brochure from the IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, even states that Disney “spent a great deal of time studying Pieck’s work at Eftling [sic] before beginning his own parks.” However, the rumour was discredited by Efteling: one of the causes of the rumour was an off-hand remark by a PR person for Efteling, who had dropped to reporters that Disney could well have visited Efteling—the reporters accordingly dropped the hypothetical from the phrase, and a legend was born. Disney probably did not visit Efteling at all, though he did visit Madurodam and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen; the latter actually did provide some inspiration for Disneyland.

Efteling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I had not heard of Efeling before. I am very interested in none Disney parks that seem to rip off Disney. So I had to do some research on this park. It looks like they might have inspired Walt (speculated and discredited in the Wiki – I must do more research on this). It also looks like the two companies have a good relationship…now I am really intrigued.

This will give me hours of fun researching this “new” park and understanding their relationship with Disney (really none of the others really have a relationship with Disney they just rip Disney off as much as they legal can).


#4

I don’t know what I expected from that book, but I thought it was trash


#5

Honestly, I am already struggling to keep my sunny embrace on Disney right now… because of so many horrible guests who are really wrecking my enjoyment of the parks… so I do not want to add another dark mark against the parks.

(yeah, a non-magical post… sorry)


#6

I have been noticing that amusement park patrons have been growing ruder in general for the past decade. That said, the various behaviors that have become normal in Disney parks and resorts is very unexpected, starting with good parenting, or lack thereof.
And why in the world do people feel obligated to add their voices and their kids’ voices to someone else’s video recordings. If I wanted your commentary or your kid’s outbursts when they see animals and trains on the Illuminations globe, I’d ask for it. The same goes for that kid who couldn’t stop making noise with his R2-D2 all through Wishes one night. Oohs and Aahs are different and so are “look at thats”, but not your argument about whether you’re going to BB or a park tomorrow. This especially goes for photopass photographers who insist on constantly telling people to keep one of the best viewing spots in MK clear for pictures because they shoot all through fireworks…And then no one wants their picture during fireworks because they would have to miss said fireworks in order to get the picture with the castle and fireworks behind them.

AND DON’T FEED THE ANIMALS!!!
NOT POPCORN AND NOT TURKEY SKIN!!!
NOTHING!!!

Sorry about the rant.


#7

I can see it isn’t for everyone. I enjoyed it, but I also enjoyed a few of the other similar books. The language and other things definitely aren’t for some people for sure.


#8

Why? Do they talk like truck drivers from New Jersey?:whistling


#9

LOL. Not far off. The central character even admits he has a foul mouth.

The point of the book, which I found interesting, was that there was a subset of people that had escaped their real painful lives by using a drug that gave them that feeling of magic and happiness that they only experienced in the park. The “dust” was there to make their life better, while at the same time exacting a pretty heavy cost on their reality. In the end, all the drug did was compound the problems with the reality that everyone must face the truth when the drug runs out.

To me, I liked it because it tied together fictional versions of the Disney World tattoo guy, the teddy bear lady from the Grand Floridian, and a few other well known real life characters tied to or obsessive about the parks.

I personally liked the book, seeing first hand the number of people that live in the Orlando area and use the parks as an escape from reality that they just can’t simply live in. Yes, foul language. Yes, drug abuse. Yes, a little bit of a dirty veil that cloaks the “magic”. But, I kind of like hearing the harsh story sometimes, even if it is heavily made up and a bit more fantastical than reality.