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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future
Peter Moore
Progress: 255/416 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 415/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 113/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 76/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 357/638 pages
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Progress: 651/1220 pages
Flood and Fang (The Raven Mysteries - book 1) - Marcus Sedgwick Marcus Sedgwick aims for a younger audience with this, the first of five Raven Mysteries books. Instead he gets me.

The ancient Guardian of Otherhand Castle has noticed a threat to the family and servants of the castle - a menacing and noxious tail, that may be connected to a mouth connected to the disappearance of a kitchen maid. Soon he has observed another danger: the castle, which appears to have something of a mind of its own, is flooding. Being a responsible Guardian, he attempts to warn the Otherhands, but this is more difficult than it would initially seem, since the Otherhands are variously, mad, stupid, obsessed with trivialities, conducting gruesome meteorological experiments or accompanied by a dangerous sticky monkey. Even explaining the situation to the one sensible member of the Otherhand clan is not straightforward, because the ancient Guardian is a Raven. Called Edgar.

This immensely entertaining, funny book combines ingredients from every comic-Gothic source that comes to mind, including The Adams Family, Beetlejuice and Araminta Spook with items from numerous more serious Gothic sources such as Gormenghast and one E.A. Poe, mixed together with Sedgwick's own strong Gothic sensibility and baked in a slightly rusty cake tin, rising to form a light and fluffy cake that it is a delight to consume.

It is worth noting that the book deploys illustration more effectively than any other novel with a similar target audience that I can remember. (Admittedly I can remember few.)

I look forward impatiently to the next Mystery as told from the viewpoint of Otherhand's oldest denizen, Edgar the Raven.