Dreadful Acts (Faber-Penguin Audiobooks)

ISBN 13: 9780141804064

Dreadful Acts (Faber-Penguin Audiobooks)

 
9780141804064: Dreadful Acts (Faber-Penguin Audiobooks)

The hilarious sequel to A House Called Awful End.

In this eagerly awaited sequel to A House Called Awful End, Eddie Dickens narrowly avoids being blown up, trampled by horses, hit by a hot-air balloon, and arrested—only to find himself falling head-over-heels for a girl with a face like a camel’s and into the hands of a murderous gang of escaped convicts.

All the old favorite faces are here—including Mad Uncle Jack and Malcolm the stuffed stoat—along with some very worrying-looking new ones. Beware!

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Review:

Oh, fans of Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, are you ready for British author Philip Ardagh's Eddie Dickens Trilogy? Snicket-ites will find it impossible to ignore the similarities to their beloved series about three orphans who undergo much hardship with little hope of relief. For one thing, Ardagh, like Snicket, enjoys spinning an over-the-top Gothic tale. Also, he assumes the voice of a personable, mostly omniscient, sometimes pedantic narrator who is eager to explain the origins of the terms he uses, such as "pitch-black," "unbridled joy," and "nailing" as well as offering a running commentary on the development of his story as he is telling it. One big difference is that this trilogy is set "in England sometime during the reign of Queen Victoria (who sat on the throne for more than sixty-three years so let's hope she had a cushion...)." And of course, Ardagh has a sense of humor all his own and an overriding cheerfulness that Snicket likes to snuff the moment it might surface.

As readers learn in the first book, A House Called Awful End, Eddie Dickens lives in a house called Awful End with his parents, his great-uncle, and Mad Aunt Maud. This second novel, Dreadful Acts, begins one fateful night when Uncle Jack wakes Eddie up to show him that a driverless hearse (drawn by horses) is parked in their driveway. Imagine their surprise to discover that the hearse's coffin contains a living man, the Great Zucchini, a famous escapologist (but definitely not an Egyptologist). Add to the mix the sudden crash-landing via hot-air balloon by the camel-faced, petticoated Daniella who makes Eddie dribble and act like a simpleton, a bunch of "peelers" (police), and a few escaped convicts, and the plot thickens. Oddball characters, compassionately sketched, distinguish this funny, endearingly quirky read. David Roberts's spidery illustrations of pointy-faced people, generously sprinkled throughout the book, are quite wonderful in a rather Quentin Blake-y way. A four-page glossary at the close of the book explains terms such as box hedge, cream tea, and creosote. Stay tuned for the dramatic trilogy conclusion Terrible Times. (Ages 11 and older) --Karin Snelson

About the Author:

Philip Ardagh is over six feet seven inches tall with a big bushy beard. Not only is he very large and very hairy, but he has also written around sixty children’s books for all ages. Currently a full-time writer living with a wife and two cats in a seaside town somewhere in England, he has been—among other things—an advertising copywriter, a hospital cleaner, a (highly unqualified) librarian, and a reader for the blind.

David Roberts is so busy drawing pictures that no one is really sure what he looks like. We do know that he has illustrated several books for children and lives somewhere in England, but whether his home is near the sea or not is anybody’s guess.

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