The trouble started when Howard Sykes came home from school and found the "goon" sitting in the kitchen. He said he'd been sent by Archer. But who was Archer? It had to do with the 2,000 words that Howard's author father had failed to deliver.
It soon became clear not only that Archer wanted those words, but that his wizard siblings, Hathaway, Dillian, Shine, Torquil, Erski...more
When even random daydreams are important signifiers you know you are in the grip of a superbly plotted extravaganzer. There is so much to admire here, and a huge cast of characters, each of whom is important, is distinctive and memorable, despite only appearing briefly in person. The story rolls along at speed without ever feeling forced.
As usual with DWJ lots of acutely observed moments, the epic hypocrisy of taking the taxpayers moral high ground when you aren't ...more
Rereading this aloud was so FUN. Doing the voices etc. for this crazy cast of characters was fabulous. I also loved reading it a second time because this time I actually understood what was going on, after all those mindbending plot-twists in the first reading. A.k.a. IT WAS EVEN BETTER THE SECOND TIME AND I DIDN'T THINK THAT WAS POSSIBLE.
THIS IS THE BEST AND UTTERLY BRILLIANT AND MIND-BLOWINGLY UNIQUE AND I LOVE ALL THE CHARACTERS AND I ADORE IT AND IT'S PERFECT.
THAT IS ALL. ...more
Jones's plots are always mysterious, and I think Archer's Goon is up there with her most bizarre. But she does a wonderful job keeping the mystery intriguing right ...more
Archer's Goon is without a doubt one of the most genuinely oddball books you will ever read. Wickedly witty, is how one "real" reviewer described it. And I'll stick with that, since an actual description of the plot couldn't give you ANY idea of how good it is. It's funny, it's suspenseful, it's full of characters likeable and ha ...more
What makes Archer's Goon so special is how deceptively simple it appears at first. Boy gets visitor, things happen, people are visited. Everything is very tightly written and one follows Howard step by step, never gaining any more information than he has. Never really discovering what is beyond the city, because for this story it absolu ...more
Slow to pick up at first, but becomes steadily more and more fascinating as the story proceeds.
The numerous big plot twists are mind-blowing even for Diana's writing, yet still, it all makes sense and comes down very logically. This book is a prime example of how Diana had a tendency of dropping hints for observant readers to pick up. You can tell what's going to happen next if you just know where to look, yet it's never b ...more
One day, a goon arrives at their kitchen table and demands 2000 words. Howard's dad, for some reason unknown, writes 2000 words of anything, so long as they are original, sends them to a wizard and gets out of paying ...more
This seems to be one of her first books, and it really shows how much she has developed as a writer. The book, while not bad, sometimes loses it's drive and I can't really put my finger on why. Sometimes I just don't want to get things resolved or see how they could be. ...more
Consider this a more cheerful version of Jones' Eight Days of Luke with a hint of Gaiman's Endless thrown into the mix. Seven powerful wizards control Howard's town, and he and his family visit each of them, trying to free themselves from their meddling, eavesdropping w ...more
Then there's the other family, seven siblings ...more
A wonderful study of family dynamics, the way the two families reflect each other in unexpected ways never gets dull, and the farcical elements are perfectly played. Even as you realise what is really going on, she manages to pull surprise after surprise from the narrative - and for once the fin ...more
Archer’s Goon is kind of like a Rube Goldberg machine. It is Plot For Plot’s Sake. There isn’t a whole lot of reason for it to exist, except it is ...more
The two reveals about Erskine and Venturus were completely unexpected and surprising, and, as I’v ...more
Archer s Goon really surprised me.
Obviously, being a Diana Wynne Jones book, it was going to be good quality but still I was dubious.
I have been putting off reading this book for about a year now, as I didn't think much of the blurb on the back. So my expectations weren’t high.
But, due to my goal of reading all of the published works of one of my favourite authors, I picked this book up at the library.
And... I was blown away. Diana Wynne Jones can make the most bizarre plot seem real.
Howard had no idea what the Goon was talking about, but soon learns from his father that the past 13 years he has been writing 2,000 and mailing them to a person named Mountjoy to cure writer's block. Or so he thought that's what it was for. But, it turns out to be much more complicated than that and soon they find themselves in ...more
For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/aut...
Share This Book
1. A Goon is a being who melts into the foreground and sticks there.
2. Pigs have wings, making them hard to catch.
3. All power corrupts, but we need electricity.
4. When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, the result is a family fight.
5. Music does not always sooth the troubled beast.
6. An Englishman's home is his castle.
7. The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
8. One black eye deserves another.
9. Space is the final frontier, and so is the sewage farm.
10. It pays to increase your word power.”
"Never," said Quentin. "My mission in life is to be a passenger.”