Archer's Goon

Monday, September 16, 2013

Archer's Goon
Diana Wynne Jones, 1984

Premise: Howard's family's life is normal. His dad's a writer, his mom teaches music, he and his sister are in school. One day he comes home to find a Goon in the kitchen, and Howard has to figure out what his dad's arrangement with the town council has to do with all the odd goings-on...

This is actually the first book by Diana Wynne Jones I have read, and it was an absolute delight! This has a tone and style reminiscent of my very favorite children's books.

The characters are balanced nicely between larger-than-life and sweetly grounded. As more and more of the powers behind the town are revealed, things get complicated and dangerous, but I can't see it being too scary for any but the youngest readers.

The style is simply fantastic. Howard's young perspective lends itself to both sly asides on his parents' behavior and matter-of-fact observations on ridiculous events. I think just enough of the supernatural situation was explained, but never so much that it felt prosaic.

It’s not the most brilliant ending, but overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

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