Excerpt from A House Called Awful End by Philip Ardagh, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A House Called Awful End

Eddie Dickens Trilogy, #1

by Philip Ardagh

A House Called Awful End by Philip Ardagh
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 128 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2003, 144 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The cupboard under the stairs of the Dickens household was occupied by Gibbering Jane. She spent her days in the darkness, alongside a variety of mops, buckets, and brooms, mumbling about "hospital corners" and "ruckled chenille." She never came out and was fed slices of ham and any other food that was thin enough to slip under the bottom of the door.

The reason why Mr. and Mrs. Dickens had rustling brown paper sheets and blankets was that this was a part of the Treatment. Dr. Muffin was always giving very strict instructions about the Treatment.

The smell of old hot-water bottles had almost reached "unbearable" on Eddie's what-I'm-prepared-to-breathe scale, and he held his hanky up to his face.

"You'll have to leave the room, my boy," said his father.

"You'll have to leave the house," said his mother. "We can't risk you going all yellow and crinkly and smelling horrible. It would be a terrible waste of all that money we spent on turning you into a little gentleman."

"Which is why we're sending you to stay with Mad Uncle Jack," his father explained.

"I didn't know I had a Mad Uncle Jack," gasped Eddie. He'd never heard of him. He sounded rather an exciting relative to have.

"I didn't say your Mad Uncle Jack. He's my Mad Uncle Jack," said his father. "I do wish you'd listen. That makes him your great-uncle."

"Oh," said Eddie, disappointed. "You mean Mad Great-uncle Jack." Then he realized that he hadn't heard of him either and he sounded just as exciting as the other one. "When will I meet him?"

"He's in the wardrobe," said his mother, pointing at in the huge wardrobe at the foot of the bed, case her son had forgotten what a wardrobe looked like.

Eddie Dickens pulled open the door to the wardrobe, gingerly. (it was a ginger wardrobe.)

Inside, among his mother's dresses, stood a very, very, very tall and very, very, very thin man with a nose that made a parrot's beak look not so beaky. "Hullo," he said, with a u and not with an e. It was very definitely a "hullo" and not a "hello." Mad Uncle Jack put out his hand.

Eddie shook it. His little gentleman lessons hadn't been completely wasted.

  • 1
  • 2

Copyright © 2002 Philip Ardagh

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...
  • Book Jacket
    Smoke
    by Dan Vyleta
    In Dan Vyleta's universe, set in an alternate Victorian England, people engaging in sinful thought ...

Who Said...

Harvard is the storehouse of knowledge because the freshmen bring so much in and the graduates take so little out.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Almost Sisters
    by Joshilyn Jackson

    A powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.