HEPZIBAH by Peter Dickinson


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Senseless nonsense--with a story that's far too complicated for the picture-book format and assorted non seqniturs besides. (E.g., ""The railway is the Hepzibah and District Steam Locomotive Company. It is quite successful, although sometimes the engine-drivers strike for more cheese."") Featured in the folderol are ""awful"" Hepzibah, a witchy-looking girl; her neighbors the Evanses--pretty, lazy Mrs. Evans, who spends all her time in bed, looking out the window, and handy Mr. Evans, who makes and sells the hats Mrs. E. looks so pretty in; and the King of Corumba (""really a gangster who got rich by swindling another gangster called Tiger O'Kelly,"" according to Hepzibah) and his functionary Francis Francis. The connections among these folk range from Hepzibah's cow to Mr. Evans motor-bike, and all involve some sort of mayhem; but apart from the fact that Hepzibah somehow scores on each occasion, there's little pattern or point to the daffiness. A record is to be attached to the back pocket, and the lyrics included do at least sum up the goings-on. Overall, though, one of those longwinded British witticisms that don't travel well.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Godine