Saturday, July 01, 2006

Awful End

...Speaking of children's books, might I recommend the zaniest, funniest most random and lovable book I ever read??

It's called "Awful End" by Philip Ardagh, and here's a short synopses from Amazon:

"When both of Eddie's parents catch a disease that makes them turn yellow and smell of hot-water bottles, it's agreed that he should go to stay with relatives at Awful End. Sadly for Eddie, those relatives are Mad Uncle Jack and Even-Madder Aunt Maud.

Philip Ardagh's supremely daft and extremely funny novel is set in a terribly smelly 19th century world that children will love. Ardagh captures the stench and stealth of the times, turning what could have been a straightforward adventure story into a delightfully pungent, utterly ridiculous but unbelievably gripping adventure story."

The illustrations and story are kind of Tim Burton-esque, the characters feel like they can be one of the neighbors in Corpse Bride (though this book was published in 2000). I'm sure any fan of Burton will love this book.

I would love to see this made into an animated movie -sure stopmotion would be perfect, but let's not copy Mr. Burton!

The story's quite funny, the narrative delightful and random, great little details thrown here are there, enough to build the funny sequences in your head, with characters as loony as the madhatter (if not more!)

Not to give anything away (not that anything will spoil the pleasures of reading such a book) even the secondary characters are delightfully daft! You've got the failed housemaid Gibbering Jane who lives under the stairs in the darkness because she failed the 8 week bed making course, the crazy Even Madder Aunt Maud, who always carries a stuffed stoat with her which she calls Malcom and her husband Mad Uncle Jack calls Sally, and Eddie's parents who the writer calls " yellow and crinkly around the edges"!

Read the book if you want to feel silly and be in a good mood!
[and If you know me personally, I'll lend you my copy gladly!]


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