No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Friday, August 19, 2005

#73: The Wish List -- Eoin Colfer

I've never read the Artemis Fowl books -- something didn't click -- but I picked this one up and liked the look of it.

Meg, 14, has died and gone to Hell. Except not quite, because her last act before dying was a very good one, and now she's perfectly balanced 'twixt Beelzebub and St Peter (the latter bewailing the lack of proper IT facilities at the Pearly Gates). Meg gets to return as a ghost and help a lonely old man complete tasks on his 'wish list' -- if she racks up enough points, she'll go to Heaven. Meanwhile, Belch (whose lack of forethought led to Meg's death, and his own) is also dead but not gone: his task is to prevent Meg from achieving Good.

All very Wonderful Life so far. But this made me laugh out loud. Meg's a likeable character: so's Lowrie McCall, the old man she's helping, who gets to look at a few key episodes in his 'wasted' life with new clarity. Belch (and his infernal / holographic assistant, an AI called Elph) are hilarious. And best of all, it's a really nicely paced novel -- we discover at the beginning that Meg's done something truly dreadful to her stepfather, but only gradually are the details disclosed.
Not too heavy-handed, and nicely observed, and very funny.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

No comments:

Post a Comment