The New Cut Gang is a group of urchins ranging from 6-year-old Sharkey Bob to 13-year-old Bridie Malone. They inhabit the streets around Lambeth Walk and the New Cut. In 1892, it is a place full of gangsters, bookies, pickpockets, swindlers, horse thieves and the occasional tentative policeman.
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Pullman's novels have an enchanting effect on their readers, young and old. In contrast to the high fantasy of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, Pullman's THUNDERBOLT'S WAXWORK is a Victorian adventure story full of gritty turn-of-the-century realism. Yet, like his fantasies, Pullman fills this young-adult thriller with rich characterization and a magically engaging story, brought even more alive by the skillful narration of British actor Nigel Anthony. With expert smoothness, Anthony gives voice to children, drunks, constables and cruel merchants in this surprising tale of counterfeit coins and a wax museum on London's South Bank. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Library Journal:
Grade 3-5-This is the first title in a new detective series by Philip Pullman set in Victorian England. The gang, a scrappy band of poor but honest youngsters, alternates between searching for the source of counterfeit coins in their neighborhood and attempting to fulfill the chestnut seller's dream of being a figure in the nearby wax museum. Both plots are liberally laced with comic conversations and some serious sleuthing. Thunderbolt is worried that his father, an unsuccessful inventor, has been arrested as the counterfeiter. With all the elements of a good old-fashioned farce, he and the five boys and girls who are his pals set out to catch the real criminal and, along the way. discover an unexpected treasure in their midst. Pullman does a fine job of creating memorable, appealing characters and narrator Nigel Anthony gives each of them a distinctive voice. Sadly, much of the humor and suspense will be lost on listeners unfamiliar with the idioms, customs, and dialects of 19th century England. Though this is a high quality audiobook, it is only for public or school libraries that have enough Anglophile listeners to justify its purchase.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin Books, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Mark Thomas (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140364102