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 X
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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

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.