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The Wish List [Paperback]

Eoin Colfer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Aug 2003
Meg Finn is in trouble, unearthly trouble. Cast out of her own home by her stepfather after her mother's death, Meg is a wanderer, a troublemaker. After a botched attempt to rob a pensioner's flat, Meg and her partner in crime, Belch, end up in a very sticky situation. Meg's soul is up for grabs as the divine and the demonic try every underhand ploy imaginable to claim it. Her only chance of salvation is the Wish List. But how can she persuade the pensioner Lowrie to help her when she has wronged him? Even if she can persuade him, will she really have enough points to face up to St Peter?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; New Ed edition (7 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014131592X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141315928
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) is the New York Times best-selling author

of the blockbuster Artemis Fowl series as well as Airman; Half Moon

Investigations; The Supernaturalist; Eoin Colfer's Legend of... books;

The Wish List; Benny and Omar; and Benny and Babe. He was born in

Wexford on the southeast coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four

brothers were brought up by his father (an elementary school teacher,

historian and artist of note) and mother (a drama teacher). He first

developed an interest in writing in primary (elementary) school with

gripping Viking stories inspired by history that he was learning in

school at the time.

Eoin got his degree from Dublin University and qualified as a primary

school teacher, returning to work in Wexford. He married in 1991 and he

and his wife spent about 4 years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi

Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published

in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been

translated into many languages; a sequel followed in 1999. In 2001, the

first Artemis Fowl book was published worldwide to much success -

shortly thereafter he left teaching to concentrate fully on his writing.

To this day, Eoin has written 6 Artemis Fowl books which have sold over

12 million copies worldwide.

Product Description

Amazon Review

This four-cassette unabridged recording of The Wish List is read by James Wilby. The running time is five hours 45 minutes.

Eoin Colfer's The Wish List is a bitter yet rip-roaringly funny tale of two wayward teenagers on the road to hell--literally. The story opens with Meg Finn and Belch Brennan, two bad kids on the block, breaking into a pensioner's flat. At the very last minute Meg reneges on the deal and tries to break for freedom, leaving the aged Lowrie McCall screaming with the pain inflicted by Belch's bloodthirsty hound. Backed into a corner by Belch and a shotgun, Meg pleads with Belch to call an ambulance and save the old man's life. Instead he pulls the trigger and in a split second of evil and madness the bullet hits a gas tank and knocks Meg's soul out of her skin, catapulting her spirit along a vast tunnel on the way to some particularly shiny, pearly gates.

Meanwhile, Beelzebub is fretting. His boss was expecting two souls, and although Belch (in his new incarnation as a dribbling, growling, red-eyed dog-boy) took the correct turn in the tunnel, he's rather miffed that Meg found her way to the beautifully buffed Pearlies and an interview with Saint Peter and his rather complicated points system. So, the archangel and the demon do a deal, and Meg is given a chance to redeem herself. If she fails on her mission to help Lowrie McCall work his way through his Wish List before he dies, then she too will be heading south to join the boy-band members, the mime artists, Belch and the world's computer boffins in fiery damnation...

The Wish List was first published in Ireland in 2000, bringing with it much critical acclaim. In 2002, following the enormous and well-deserved success of the Artemis Fowl books, Eoin Colfer's publishers decided to let the rest of the world sneak a peak. And about time too. Hopelessly hopeful, immorally moral, rattling with the pain of its anti-heroine as she faces her own demons, and rib-crackingly, laugh-out-loud funny, The Wish List strikes an almost perfect balance between good, old-fashioned scruples and thoroughly modern irreverence in what is ultimately, and most importantly, a darn good read. Not for the faint-hearted, and certainly not for those who can't take a border-line sick joke every now and then, The Wish List is a divinely devilish tale for anyone who enjoys a bucketful of grit and truck loads of wisecracks with their reading material. Ages 10 and over, recommended particularly for older readers. --Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'another fast-moving plot from the bestselling author Eoin Colfer'

(Books Ireland Books Ireland)

'a picaresque adventure in the Fursey tradition'

(RTE Guide RTE Guide)

'Inventive, entertaining and completely refreshing, The Wish List is a witty and original read which wins you over -- and makes you laugh.'

(T2 Online)

'From the beginning of this novel, when Meg and Belch break into old Mr. McCall's flat, the story grips the reader, in turns gritty, harsh, funny and tender ... the seemingly effortless craftsmanship in this book allows the reader to be swept along with the highs and lows of the story and to emerge at the end after an entertaining and breathless ride.'

(School Librarian The School Librarian)

'A laugh-aloud adventure'

(Mary Arrigan - The Sunday Tribune The Sunday Tribune)

'Absolutely superb'

(Independent on Sunday)

'Funny and feisty'

(The Mail on Sunday)

'The Wish List is an anarchic gem - ingenius, original, fast paced and very funny ... tinged with black humour, that children aged 11-15 will love.'

(The Sunday Herald)

'It's A Wonderful Life with attitude ... A sharp, streetwise, wisecracking fantasy for 10+ in which even St Peter talks like a dude'

(The Sunday Times)

'Echoes of Roddy Doyle, Flann O'Brien and even Samuel Beckett.'

(The Telegraph)

'So devilishly chucklesome that even St Peter might find his halo slipping from laughing so much'

(Sunday Times)

'A highly imaginative blend of black humour, technology and sadness'

(Book Fest 2000)

'Inventive, entertaining and completely refreshing, The Wish List is a witty and original read which wins you over -- and makes you laugh.'

(T2 Online)

'I laughed out loud all through The Wish List...his originality is impressive and his storytelling captivating.'

(Prue Goodwin - Children's Books in Ireland Children's Books in Ireland) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MEG and Belch were doing a job. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Eoin Colfer's latest children's book, 'The Wish List', is one of the most unusual you will find. It manages to combine a deep and spiritual storyline with the funniest, most down-to-earth humour imaginable, and also has warm, sympathetic characters, who spring to life (or indeed afterlife!) from the page. The protagonist of the book is Meg Finn, aged fourteen,"bold but not bad". Her mother's death, her odious stepfather and a rough neighbourhood have all left their mark on her, the end result being that she is trapped into taking part in a burglary. However, the "job" does not go as planned; so much so, in fact, that by the end of chapter one both Meg and the leader of the break-in, Belch, are in the direst straits imaginable. Meg discovers that the keeper of the Pearly Gates is not as easy to con as the juvenile court. Fit for neither heaven nor hell, her aura an indefinite purple instead of the blue of the virtuous or the red of the wicked, she has no choice but to try to find a way to tip the scales in heaven's favour. The way involves Lowrie McCall, owner of the house she had tried to burgle, and the Wish List may be a solution for both. Unfortunately, they have reckoned without the evil, cunning and obstinacy of the Devil and his sidekick Beelzebub, for Meg's soul is of especial interest to Satan. His instrument: her ex fellow-criminal, Belch Brennan. Can all Meg's smartness defeat the immense powers of evil pitted against her? The story races along. Almost everything it touches, from the security guards at the national television station to St. Peter's mobile phone, is treated with the same dry humour, yet I never once found the scenario itself ridiculous.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven vs. Hell, Who Will Win? 7 Sep 2003
I first picked up this book when I noticed it was by one of my favourite Authors, Eoin Colfer. After flicking through the first few pages I became interested and purchased my own copy.
This book has followed in the footsteps of the great Artemis Fowl and entranced me. This book is Eoin Colfer on top form and will have your sides splitting from laughter.
The book follows the story of Meg Finn, a 14 year old Girl. After trying to save an old man whom she was robbing, she gets blown to bits along with her partner in crime and they are both sent up the long tunnel into the next life. However there is no next life for Meg yet seeing has her points are equal, so she cannot go to Heaven or Hell but has to go back and help the old man she was trying to rob.
You will have to read the book for yourself to find out whether she gets into Heaven or fails and falls to Hell. However, Eoin Colfer gives us his take on what Heaven and Hell are like in the 20th century and how they have changed from the Bible version.
This book has a gripping storyline, (I couldn't put it down)and is a hilarious read for the entire family. It is certainly living up to it predecessor and would give Harry Potter a run for it's money!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love a great ghost story 12 Dec 2006
The short and scary type are great too, but this is more about healing relationships and considering what you have done with your life, or more to the point, what you didn't do. Our ghost travels to hell and back and decides she doesn't like the decor one bit. The only way past Peter and the Pearly Gates is to help the victim of her bungled robbery. A stroppy, teenager and a grumpy old man are thrown together in a symbiotic relationship. Remember the saying 'you need to walk a mile in someone elses shoes before you can understand them' well these characters literally do just that as one of our ghost's skills is the possession of grumpy old men and of course armchairs. Colfer gets my award for promoting understanding between teens and gramps, reminding the young that they will get old one day and reminding the old that they were young once too! I loved the characters of Beelzebub and Peter and the idea of a hell populated by computer boffs. Colfer uses humour to entertain and offset the more serious message of the book. An often taboo subject - death - is dealt with in a matter of fact 'deadpan' way (sorry). I'd recommend this book to discerning readers of 11 and up (my neighbour just nicked my copy). An emotional gem packed with life lessons, remember you cant take your worldly goods with you when you go, but you can take regrets - very thought provoking.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The wish list 14 Jan 2005
By "hazk"
I discovered this book after reading the Artimis fowl series. It's one of Colfers earlier titles, with a fast paced storyline, makeing the book hard to put down.
It's a story about good and evil, Heaven and hell. The main character (Meg) has to redeem herself after her death to secure her place in heaven and is sent back to help an old man complete his wish list of 3 tasks. An amusing thought provoking and often sad read, it's a must for any fan of Colfer. The only criticism of this book is that its a bit short, but would be a good changeling read for a younger child.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even better than Artemis Fowl 11 Jan 2003
I am a slightly reluctant convert to Artemis Fowl, partly because of the massive hype it has had, and partly because it's just a bit too slick. However The Wish List is a terrific book. Two teenagers break into an old man's flat, and one of them, Belch, wounds him. The other, Meg, has a spark of goodness still left in her and it's this that saves her from going to Hell when Belch causes them both the die. For Meg's aura is mingled, and although Beelzebub himself wants her for her evil cunning, she might win through to Heaven if she can go back to Earth and redeem herself by helping the old man she nearly killed.
The quality of imagination, the jokes and the fun could only have come from an Irish Catholic, but the appeal of the story is universal. Meg's grudging affection for the old man, and his relationship with her cause her unhappy past to unfold before the reader, and the final struggle between good and evil sends shivers up your spine. My 9 year old loved it as much as I did, and the last sentence made us both get out the Kleenex. One parfticularly enjoyable aspect is the fun Colfer has with technology - all the computer programmers go to Hell, and St. Peter and his opposite number have secret telephone calls. Thoroughly recommended as one of the funniest, most exciting and original children's novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An engaging book - not quite as funny as the blurb would suggest - a book for young teens.
Published 2 months ago by Debo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good v Evil
A clear case of reward & punishment depending on how actions are classified which affects the characters' final destination in the afterlife. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ro Mac Daddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book
At first I had doubts but it turns out this was a good book which I will recommend to friends
Published 16 months ago by Angie T
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable.
I loved this book. I bought it as a present for a twelve year old and read it before parting with it. Eoin Colfer is a very impressive children''s author. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Gabrielle Gilligan
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be on everyone's Wish List!
This is one of my favourite reads; especially at this time of year. Hilariously funny and touching at the same time. A perfect read for young teens, but a must for adults too. Read more
Published 23 months ago by GMC
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good just for Children !!
Beautifully written and funny and touching in places. Without going into too much detail, as I believe every experience is individual to each reader, this is a delightful,... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kath Diggle
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Imagination
Teenage criminals Meg Finn and Belch Brennan are both killed in a gas explosion. Belch and his dog go straight to Hell, of course. But with Meg, St Peter isn't so sure. Read more
Published on 5 May 2011 by Tnerual Rednaxela Eidorb
3.0 out of 5 stars not a patch on artemis
am a big fan of artemis fowl so selected this book for my first book club choice; bit disapointed to be honest and overall the book received a big thumbs down from everyone, though... Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by J. A. Nicholas
3.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near as good as the book
I bought this to use in class as I love the book so much. I'm disappointed that the actress reads the (abridged) text with an English accent, especially as the text clearly... Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2010 by ChickLit Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite books.
I love this book. I've read all the Artemis Fowl books, and I like them too, but The Wish List has to be my favourite Eoin Colfer, and one of my favourite books ever. Read more
Published on 16 July 2008 by Mrs. S. R. Wray
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