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Summary and book reviews of Terrible Times by Philip Ardagh

Terrible Times

Eddie Dickens Trilogy, #3

by Philip Ardagh

Terrible Times
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 160 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2004, 128 pages

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Book Summary

A mysterious stowaway and some familiar faces from Eddie's past complicate matters, as does being tied up and set adrift in a leaky rowboat. Will Eddie ever reach America? Ages 9+.

In the third installment of the Eddie Dickens saga, Eddie, our steadfast hero, finds himself en route to North America aboard the sailing ship Pompous Pig along with a cargo hold full of left shoes, the world-famous Dog's Bone Diamond, and some of the most disreputable traveling companions anyone might have the misfortune to share a berth with. A mysterious stowaway and some familiar faces from Eddie's past only complicate matters, as does being tied up and set adrift in a leaky rowboat. Will Eddie ever reach America?

A Message to My American Readers
Now that I've had a chance to prune my beard


Hullo again, my American chums! Here, at long last, is the final book in the Eddie Dickens Trilogy. The clue is in the word trilogy (t-r-i-l-o-g-y). As the brainiest amongst you already know, it means "a series of three books" and -- as is clearly stated on the cover -- this is Book Three. For those of you who've come with me and Eddie all the way from A House Called Awful End, I hope you've enjoyed the ride. For those of you who are meeting Eddie for the first time, DON'T PANIC. Each book is a self-contained adventure (and beautifully written, too, if I may say so).

For those of you sobbing and wailing about this being the last Eddie book, have no fear (and please quit your blubbering). There's nothing to stop me writing some further adventures, is there? In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Terrible Times.

Philip Ardagh, England 2002

EPISODE I
Explosive News!
In which America is mentioned,
but the author gets somewhat sidetracked

"America?" said Eddie Dickens in amazement. "You want me to go to America?" His mother nodded. This was difficult because she was wearing an enormous neck brace, which looked rather like one of those huge plastic collars vets sometimes put around dogs' heads to prevent them from licking wounds; only hers was made of whalebone and starched linen.

Before you start crying, "Poor whale!" and writing off letters of complaint, I wish to point out two things: firstly, these events took place in the nineteenth century, when things were very different from the twenty-first; secondly, the whale whose bones were used to make the frame for Mrs. Dickens's neck brace had died of natural causes after a long and fulfilling life at sea, with plenty of singing, which is, apparently, what whales like doing most.

Okay, it hadn't said, "When I die, I hope my bones are used to ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Boston Herald

Young adults and older readers alike will laugh, groan and ultimately pull for Eddie in Philip Ardagh's quirky third installment of the 'Eddie Dickens Trilogy'.

Kirkus Reviews

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. (Fiction. 10-12)

Publishers Weekly

PW said in a starred review of the series' launch, A House Called Awful End, Kids who lap up Lemony Snicket's series will take quickly to this tale and clamor for the next.

Reader Reviews
didi.t

i love this book!
It's a hilarious book. I love the whole series!

Jesse2you

This book is great if your sad and bored or if you cant find any more Lemony Snicket books. All 3 of the books are good. So buy it and the other 2 so you'll wont regret it. Also im doing a review at school about awful end .also if you want to now ...   Read More

Jennifer

It was a great book! I loved the whole series!

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