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TERRIBLE TIMES by Philip Ardagh


Vol. III, The Eddie Dickens Trilogy

by Philip Ardagh & illustrated by David Roberts

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-7156-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

Ardagh claims to be closing out this trilogy, but readers of the earlier volumes may be justifiably skeptical. Here, after reintroducing young Eddie, his nutcase parents, his Mad Uncle Jack and Even Madder Aunt Maud (abbreviated to MAJ and EMUM for convenience), the author sends his naïve but capable lad off to America. She’s joined by Lady Constance Bustle, whose previous traveling companions have all suddenly and mysteriously died, leaving their estates to her, an escaped convict from a previous adventure, and the fabulously huge, aptly named Dog’s Bone Diamond. After many digressions, narrowly averted disasters, and silly set pieces à la Monty Python, Eddie survives a murder attempt, brings his nefarious governess to justice, and returns in triumph to the family digs at Awful End. In occasional small ink drawings, Roberts endows the entire cast with madly staring eyes and appropriately disheveled looks. Lemony Snicket fans in need of a happy ending might take to this very British farce as a change of pace. (glossary) (Fiction. 10-12)