Full set of 8 individual books, save €15
Mr Gum was a fierce old man with a red beard and two bloodshot eyes that stared out at you like an octopus curled up in a bad cave. He was a complete horror who hated children, animals, fun and corn on the cob. What he liked was snoozing in bed all day, being lonely and scowling at things.
He slept and scowled and picked his nose and ate it. Most of the townsfolk of Lamonic Bibber avoided him and the children were terrified of him. Their mothers would say, ‘Go to bed when I tell you or Mr Gum will come and shout at your toys and leave slime on your books!’ That usually did the trick.
Mr. Gum may be the nastiest man on Earth, but he has the tidiest, greeniest, floweriest, gardeniest garden in the world…that is, until a giant whopper of a dog named Jake destroys it in a fit of doggy joy. In retaliation, Mr. Gum hatches one of his astonishingly evil plots, involving some poisonous meat, and soon-very soon-things will get uglier than Mr. Gum in his underwear.
Unless, of course, Polly-a golden-haired local girl with hair like cat?s daydream who is as good and true as Mr. Gum is wretched and smelly-can stymie Mr. Gum, save Jake, and prove to the world why the truth is lemon meringue . . .
About the Author
Andy Stanton lives in North London. He studied English at Oxford but they kicked him out. He has been a stand-up comedian, a film script reader, a cartoonist, an NHS lackey and lots of other things. He has many interests, but best of all he likes Radio 4, books and music (even jazz). One day he’d like to live in New York or Berlin or one of those places because he’s got fantasies of bohemia. His favourite expression is ‘Good evening’ and his favourite word is ‘captain’. This is his second book.
An outstanding opening carries this debut import past some surreal patches. Mr. Gum ‘lived in a great big house in the middle of town. Actually, it wasn’t that great, because he had turned in into a disgusting pigsty.’ How bad was it? ‘Insects lived in the kitchen cupboards, not just small insects but great big ones with faces and names and jobs.’ He keeps his ‘garden’ perfect, though, so when a huge dog takes to stopping by to tear it up, he soaks three pounds of bad hearts from the butcher in rat poison and sets a trap. A bad man indeed-but no fears: After trotting in a host of characters, from a chorus line of gophers and a good Samaritan with a severely short attention span to a nine-year-old heroine with a 31-word first name, Stanton engineers a last-second rescue, a wedding and even (despite several strenuous denials) a slightly hidden ‘Secret Bonus Story.’ Illustrated on nearly every page with comical vignettes and spot art, the tale makes a serious assault on the silly bone. (Fantasy. 9-11)