Summary and book reviews of Dreadful Acts by Philip Ardagh

Dreadful Acts

Eddie Dickens Trilogy, #2

by Philip Ardagh

Dreadful Acts
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2003, 128 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2004, 144 pages

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Book Summary

All the old favorite faces in this series are here--including Mad Uncle Jack and Malcolm the stuffed stoat--along with some very worrying-looking new ones. Beware! Ages 9+.

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 ...

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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

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

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!

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