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Archer's Goon Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 4 Mar 2002


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (4 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007134797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007134793
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,337,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
Publishers Weekly

From the Back Cover

When the Goon turns up demanding "Archer’s two thousand", life turns upside-down. As Howard desperately tries to get to the bottom of this peculiar demand, he discovers that the town is run by seven crazy wizards (not all of whom live in the present!) and someone is trying to take over the world!

Exciting, bizarre and truly hilarious! Listening fun for all the family, but key age 8+.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
This is Diana Wynne Jones at the top of her form - funny, perceptive and original. The story of Howard's encounter with Archer (the one with the goon) and his brothers and sisters is unpredictable, but entrely logical (sort of!).. It was made into a very good children's serial by the BBC some years ago. It's a really good well-written tale which will be really enjoyed by anyone old enough to cope with time distortion in fiction. It's also got quite enough going for it to enthrall any adult who enjoys fiction with fantasy in it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jun 2001
Format: Paperback
I always think the mark of a good children's book is that you can re-read it as an adult without wanting to chew your own hands off with the pain and Diana Wynne-Jones more than qualifies. In fact, I have enjoyed (and understood!) Archer's Goon much more as a twenty-something than as a child. Anyone who has siblings to deal with will recognise aspects of themselves and their families in this bizzare and twisted tale.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on 12 July 2005
Format: Paperback
"A Goon is a being who melts into the foreground and sticks there."
"All power corrupts, but we need electricity."
"It pays to increase your word power."
- from the author's note
Although Jones seems to be classified as a "children's" author, I've found her a very fine fantasy writer with a sly sense of humor ever since I took amazon.com's advice and first read HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. While ARCHER'S GOON (a stand-alone work rather than a volume in any of Jones' series) has a young protagonist, but like Jones' other work can be enjoyed by any fantasy reader, since she doesn't talk down to her audience.
On the morning the story opens, Howard Sykes faces a typical day of school, avoiding violin practice, and the usual clashes with his little sister (nicknamed 'Awful', with a voice like an ambulance siren). Just an ordinary day in an ordinary little town, right?
Then the title character, a huge thug promptly nicknamed 'the Goon', shows up.
"What's Dad done?"
"Told her. Sykes got behind with his payment. Archer wants his two thousand. Here to collect it."
"Who *is* Archer?"
"Archer farms this part of town. Your dad pays, Archer doesn't make trouble."
In exchange for being let off his taxes - and maybe other things - Howard's father has been sending 2000 words in an envelope to City Hall every month for years. Sykes tries to laugh this off, saying it's a private joke he used to break his writer's block years ago - but now one sibling after another of the seven siblings running the town wants to get hold of the last batch of words and figure out what Archer's been up to all this time. Despite being adults, the siblings don't get on any better than Howard and Awful do; they've just got a truce by which they've divvied up the city.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Jun 2002
Format: Paperback
If you like Diana Wynne Jones, read this. If you have never read any Diana Wynne Jones, start with this one.
Archer's Goon is the story of a teenage boy and his family who arrive home one day to see the title character sitting in their kitchen. The book chronicles the events that follow, from meeting the Goon's employer, Archer, and the rest of his dysfunctional family, to an explaination of why they have such an interest in Howard, and just how powerful words can be.
Readers of any age will love this book, it's witty, clever, and Howard's sister, Awful has to be one of the best characters ever written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By clairewdg on 28 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
I came to Archer's Goon when the BBC showed it as a series for kids in 1992. I went out and bought the book - the edition with a photo of Torquil and Shine from the TV series on the front - and have re-read it and loved it ever since.

One weird thing about it though, that I didn't pick up on as a kid but bugs me now, is that the plot is definitely set in Britain but there are American idioms running throughout, such as 'sidewalk' and the like. I assume the publishers just sent out the US edition in Britain thinking it would be ok, but it makes for a jarring read on occasion.

But definitely a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By liz on 21 April 2003
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Thgis tape introduced my family to Diana Wynne-Jones. My children aged 10, 8, and 6 all enjoyed it and it kept them quiet during our recent journey to Wales.
Although a fantasy story the characters were easy to believe in and there was a good twist near the end.
The sister called Awful made my own childrens' behaviour much more tolerable!
My husband and I both enjoyed the tape.
I will certainly consider buying more of this author either to read or to listen to in the car.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lylais@hotmail.com on 4 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
Archers Goon is the first Diana Wynne Jones book I ever read, and its still my favourite now. Anyone who has brothers and sisters(4 in my case) will recognize a lot of the sibling rivavlry in the book. Its a really fun, original story with a lot of imagination. It is quite complicated and you may need to read it twice to completely understand it, but don't let that put you off! In the book a boy called Howard is suddenly stuck trying to help a family of seven wizards who he never even knew existed before. But Howards a lot more closely connected to them than he might think.
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