Monday, February 26, 2007

Spring Heeled Jack - Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman's Spring-Heeled Jack is a vivid Victorian tale told in words and comic strips, the latter drawn by David Mostyn. This quick-witted, fast-moving adventure story tells of three defenceless sibling orphans who attempt to escape from the Alderman Cawn-Plaster Memorial Orphanage in London on a dark and stormy night. Closely watched by Mack the Knife and other villainous villains, the three children weave their way through the dark and dangerous streets of the city, in constant fear of being caught and returned to the care of the rancid Mr Killjoy and his horribly horrid assistant, Miss Gasket. Fortunately for the orphans, Spring Heeled Jack, the hooded superhero to beat all hooded superheroes, who dresses like the devil and is ready for action against the evil-doers and scallywags of London's dark streets, comes to their aid.

This is a lively and amusing tale, although I confess I initially found the comic strips (which appear amidst the text more or less at random) slightly distracting. Each chapter begins with a quotation - including, funnily, one from Spring Heeled Jack by Philip Pullman ! I'm sure that this book will be enjoyed by younger readers.

No comments: