Google+ Bookslingers Blog: Dial A Ghost: Oooey, Gooey Fun

Dial A Ghost: Oooey, Gooey Fun

Need a spook to match your curtains? Fancy a specter to add atmosphere to your dining room? The Dial A Ghost agency have got a ghost for you.

If you are looking for something gruesome and dripping, there are the Shriekers - a nasty, bloodstained husband and wife who love nothing better than to scratch the faces of children and strangle them with their bedsheets. If you are in the market for a proper English family, there are the Wilkinsons and their adopted ghost daughter who dreams of nothing more than owning a ghost sheep.

On one memorable day, two customers come to the agency. Nuns are looking to gift some extra space in their abbey to a nice family. And there's Fulton Snodde-Brittle who wants to rent the cruelest, most bloodiest ghosts to kill his cousin, Oliver.

You can imagine what happens.

This is a very ... gooey book. There's lots of blood and fingernails and spittle and legs and arms and limbs falling off and snakes and pig's trotters. But in the grand tradition of Eva Ibbotson, it is wonderfully inventive and kind and matter-of-fact about life and death and sadness and happiness. What Ibbotson and one of my other favourite authors Diana Wynne Jones do so well is not sugar coating how cruel and unfair life can be for children. Dial A Ghost is a fantastically satisfying old-fashioned story where the bad are punished and the good are rewarded with happy endings and happy families.