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Wild Robert

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  760 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

Heather's parents are the caretakers of the stately home Castlemaine, and Heather would love living there -- if it weren't for the tourists. Every summer they invade Castlemaine, and one day they even trample into all of her secret quiet spots. The only one left is a peculiar little mound that the villagers say is the grave of Wild Robert, a legendary magician who lived 35

Hardcover, 100 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1989)
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Feb 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, younger
This is half of a fairly promising novel. And I really mean half -- not, "oh, this has potential but it needs a good rewrite," but "Here is the first half of my finished book. I left the second half on the train and can't be bothered to redo it." Almost more disappointing than a bad book, because I wanted to know how the story turned out.
Stephen Theaker
Not one of Diana Wynne Jones's major works, but interesting nevertheless, and I was thrilled to find it on the shelves of Birmingham Central Library while the children were rolling around on giant cushions.

Heather lives in a stately home which her parents manage for the National Trust. When she idly wishes for Wild Robert to wake up and deal with Mr McManus, the unpleasant gardener, and the tourists who bother her, he does. He plays magical tricks on everyone, but everything's fine by the end of
Deborah O'Carroll
What if a mysterious magical being who had been asleep for 350 years, woke up in modern times, found the castle of his former home turned into a tourist attraction, and decided to make mischief? That’s Wild Robert for you! Heather has a lot to put up with when she accidentally summons him into her tourist-crammed day… Shenanigans ensue!

Quite short read (100 pages including illustrations and large print; I read it in a sitting) and a very fun way to kick off March Magics/Diana Wynne Jones March 2
Oh what a wonderful short little story full of fun, silliness and magic. It feels though as if there should be more but I do not think there is a sequel to Wild Robert. In a way it could feel incomplete, but to me it feels like the story is still living, it has never ended and never will.

Sometimes the simple stories are the best ones.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather lives in Castlemaine, a very large, very old house owned by the British Trust and open to tourists. Her parents run the tours in the house. One day, Heather ends up calling Wild Robert out of a mound with the thoughtless wish that he appear to drive out the tourists. Hilarity ensues.

This is a very short story at 100 pages exactly, but no less enjoyable. Heather's unusual life makes her an interesting character, though she retains enough selfishness and self-consciousness to be very likab
Abigail H. Leskey
Robert reminds me of this and this

He's wild, and merry, and rather a darling, and hurt too. Also bonkers--who chases people with wrappers?

Content: D*** once, magic.
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, borrowed
Fun, but it feels like the prologue to a greater story - lots of set up that goes no where, and no real resolution. It works as a novella as long as you don't expect any more then that. The whole thing is pretty much a romp through the tropes of this particular story. It's short - easy enough to read in a few hours, even for a slow reader like me. If your a fan of the author I can't see a reason not to recommend it, but as a stand alone there isn't much to mention about it.
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-crafted and well-paced short story. Memorable characters with depth and development.
Liz Annabelle
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this over and over as a child. I think I was always hoping there'd suddenly be more to it.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those all-too-brief, magical stories for young readers that leave one regretting there wasn't more. It covers just the first day of what promises to be a whole series of adventures shared by a lonely girl named Heather and the mischievous, magical friend named in the title. It leaves what happens afterward entirely to the reader's imagination.

Heather lives with her parents in the stately castle of an extinct branch of the nobility, now a museum owned by the British Trust. Her pare
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wild Robert demonstrates many of the qualities that make me love Diana Wynne Jones’ writing so much. It’s quirky and unexpected, inventive, original, and full of humor and character. The characters, especially Heather and Wild Robert, are interesting and well developed. Robert, in particular, is a very unique individual, capricious, resentful, quick but caught still in the grandness of the estate his family once owned, unable to accept the common folk trampling all over “his” land. The results o ...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
A nice little Diana Wynne Jones fantasy, Wild Robert tells the tale of Heather, a girl who lives in a re-posessed castle (its noble line is extinct) where her parents are caretakers and tour guides. She hates the tourists who take over her home and give her no peace, and one afternoon while trying in vain to get a little privacy, she stumbles onto the barrow in the back where reputedly Wild Robert, a young nobleman accused of witchcraft, was executed. As it turns out, Robert isn't quite as gone ...more
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Heather lives with her parents at Castlemaine and her parents are also the caretakers and tourguides of Castlemaine.
Heather would love to live at Castlemaine if it wasn't for every Summer many tourists come. To get away from all tourists and noise, Heather heads off to one of her secret spots in the castle only to find more tourists there.

Heather goes off upset and to the only other secret spot she knows. The mound near the woods, and she has been told that is the grave of Wild Robert, who was
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Honestly, this felt like half a book. By the end, Heather has realized Wild Roberts story, but she doesn't really have that much of a plan for how she could right the wrongs that have been done to him.

Still an enjoyable quick read, complete with quirky magic and what person in charge of maintaining a place for the public hasn't wanted to have them attacked by their own littered trash? :)

Content notes: No swearing that I recall; no sensuality except teenagers making a nuisance of themselves by

Jun 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely short book about a girl who lives in a castle which is being cared for by her parents. Tourists visit the castle in droves and it is hard for the girl to find a spare moment of quiet. She inadvertently wakes up the ghost of a warlock buried on the castle grounds who turns the tourists to sheep and does other nasty things to the people the young girl was complaining about only moments before. Of course the girls is appalled by this and works to find a solution to the mischief the war ...more
Mariah Drakoulis
It's stories like these that make me sad that Diana Wynne Jones died. I wish she just could exist forever, writing really awesome fantasy novels for the rest of time. The story ends quite abruptly and without any real resolution - it feels as though a series or at least a sequel was intended, and Wild Robert doesn't have the same sort of neat ending that most of her novels do. Apart from that, it is still a charming novella full of her trademark humour and magic, all wrapped together. A story I ...more
Kate  K. F.
Wild Robert is a wonderful story but it ends at an odd point. The main character is a bored girl who's parents manage a historical castle, she accidentally awakens from a magical sleep a former resident of the castle. He causes trouble and she works to control and understand him. The story abruptly stops at the end of the day but it feels like there should be more.

I was reminded of Eight Days of Luke which has the same sort of beginning but is a more complete story. A good fast read that I'd onl
Heather is unhappy and bored. Her parents are caretakers of a large historic house and tourists are traipsing throughout it. She escapes to a mound near the house and calls out to a legend told about Wild Robert, a former resident of the house executed as a witch over 300 years before. Only he then shows up and uses magic on some of those visiting the house with funny results. An enjoyable read with great illustrations.
I suspect I would have loved this book had it existed when I was in the target audience for it. I would have probably liked it had it been published in the US shortly after its 1989 publication in the UK. As an adult reading this book, it feels as though either the story is incomplete or tied too neatly in a bow. Not my favorite DWJ book by a long shot.
Jul 05, 2006 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather is hiding from the tourists invading her home, just looking for some peace and quiet so the reputed grave of the former owner seems a good place to try. Exasperated at being unable to read she invites Wild Robert to deal with all the tourists and chaos ensues.[return][return]
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
I picked this up from the free book pile. It caught my eye since it was written by the same author as Howl's Moving Castle. Cute but with a bittersweet ending and written for a much much younger audience than HMC.
Inspiring illos (black and white, no grey tone) from Emma Chichester Clark, and an intriguing story with interesting character development. Recommended for upper primary aged readers or young secondary schoolers with an interest in history, mystery, quirkiness and or the slightly macabre.
Mar 22, 2010 rated it liked it
I have had Ms. Jones on my list to read for quite some time as she comes highly recommended from friends on an email group. This one was cute, predictable, will be perfect for The Kid. I will get more of her books out to screen and enjoy.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: magic, children
For what it is it's fine! But what it is, I suspect, is the first chapter of a much longer story that Jones just never got round to. Pity. A young reader could read this as a complete story and enjoy it very much.
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wild Robert is a good book for the very young. The ending was not satisfying. It reads like Jones didn't want to bother with tying up the loose ends. Everything was left floating in the wind.
A brief tale of time travel at an historic castle.
Jul 06, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a wild romp of a read one afternoon. There isn't much to highly recommend it. Not noteworthy at all. But it was a fun ride.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The ending was unsatisfying. It ended in the middle of nowhere IMO.
Sharon Garbe
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dwj
I don't remember why I didn't like this as much.
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more
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