Summary and book reviews of Dreadful Acts by Philip Ardagh

Dreadful Acts

Eddie Dickens Trilogy, #2

By Philip Ardagh

Dreadful Acts
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2003,
    128 pages.
    Paperback: May 2004,
    144 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

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!



A Message To My American Readers
Because I like you


Greetings, once again, from across the Atlantic. The book you have in your hand, or someone else's hand if you're reading over his or her shoulder, is called Dreadful Acts and is the sequel to A House Called Awful End. Both are 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), which is why some of the events or people might seem rather odd to American eyes. Then again, that might have something to do with my storytelling.


You don't need to have read A House Called Awful End for this book to make sense; it's a story in its own right . . . and I'm not sure that Awful End made a great deal of sense, anyway. I do hope you enjoy reading Dreadful Acts. I had great fun writing it!

Philip Ardagh, 2003

EPISODE I
Here We Go Again
In which a hssss becomes a BOOOOM!

Eddie Dickens woke up with a shock. An electric eel had just landed on him from the top pocket of his great-uncle's overcoat. And one thing that can be guaranteed to be shocking is electricity.


Eddie sat up. "What's happening, Mad Uncle Jack?" he asked, for that was the name he called the thinnest of thin gentlemen -- with the beakiest of beaky noses -- who was leaning over his bed.


"Come quickly, boy!" his great-uncle instructed, his top hat brushing against the gas tap of the lamp on the wall. The eel might have had electricity, but this house -- Awful End -- didn't.


Eddie didn't need to be asked twice. The quickest way to escape the eel was to leap from his bed, so leap from his bed he did.


Eddie and his parents lived at Awful End with his great-uncle and great-aunt (Mad Aunt Maud). If you want to find out how they all came to live together, following a series of awfully exciting ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
Newsday

These are among the rare books that will reward slow readers as richly as book-gobblers, because moving word to word and savoring the absurdity of each phrase will give as much pleasure as galloping through the story.

Times Record News

If you adored Philip Ardagh's witty, hilarious and somewhat bizarre short novel for adolescents and somewhat older readers titled, A House Called Awful End, then you must go out and buy, beg, or borrow the second installment, called Dreadful Acts.

School Library Journal - Ashley Larsen

Grade 4-6. Fans of Monty Python's style of humor will appreciate the constant verbal wit, slapstick, and random plot twists. Others will find the narration grating and hard to follow.

Booklist - Shelle Rosenfeld

Gr. 4-7. The second book in the Eddie Dickens trilogy finds the 12-year-old encountering yet another series of odd events and characters. Black-and-white drawings with a touch of the macabre add further period flavor and farce. This will be great for series fans, but it will also stand alone.

Reader Reviews
No one

DReadful Acts
This book is great for kids, Very funny and it twists the way we think of books. My only criticism is that the book is very short and would take no more than a week to read. I think that books should stick with for some time. Over all this book is ...   Read More

Eliza Cruz

Dreadful acts
It was a good book. I learned a lot from it!

Thomas

I loved the second Eddie Dickens book because it was funny and good.
It was funny because a man called Barking is barking mad! The descriptions are very funny too - One of the people has the face of a camel! It is good because it is organized - it ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Dreadful Acts, try these:

  • Molly Moon Stops The World jacket

    Molly Moon Stops The World

    by Georgia Byng

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    You are about to embark on an incredible journey to Hollywood with the dazzling young hypnotist Molly Moon, but be warned: this trip is very dangerous, evil lurks on every page!

  • The Anybodies jacket

    The Anybodies

    by N.E. Bode

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    This book promises suspense! Intrigue! Mystery! Fairies fall out of books! Birds turn into dogs! Nuns turn into lampposts! So I have no idea why you're still lingering here. . . . Start reading! (Ages 9+)

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.