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The Box of Delights
The Box of Delights
by John Masefield
Edition: Paperback

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal children's classic, but good for adults too, 29 Nov 2005
This review is from: The Box of Delights (Paperback)
The (largely faithful) TV adaptation of this is probably better known than the book, but the latter is more rewarding. The lines between reality and magic are blurred throughout the story, and that's the way John Masefield likes it - he was Poet Laureate, after all, so you expect to be dazzled. It's most definitely a story to be read at Christmas, as the plot takes place the week before the big day.
In places the book shows its age - it was written in the 1920s - and isn't politically correct by today's standards. However, it's very funny, especially Abner Brown's evil monologues, the completely loopy Arnold of Todi and little Maria's constant attempts to shock people. The ending has been described as cliched, but may have been less so at the time it was written.
It's certainly worth reading "The Midnight Folk" (the Box of Delights is actually a sequel) as this helps to explain the origin of the characters such as Abner, the Rat and Caroline Louisa. The books complement each other very well, with one set in summer and the other at Christmas, but with largely the same characters and setting.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.89

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, 10 July 2003
The plot is the same as all the others: Harry starts with the Dursleys, goes to Hogwarts, new DADA teacher and political wranglings with the Ministry of Magic, same central mystery rumbling on in the background (Stone, Chamber, Prisoner, Goblet, "weapon"), same final inconclusive showdown with Voldemort, same sage mutterings from Dumbledore, back to the Dursleys. It passes the time OK but, afterwards, go and read CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia - at least all those stories are completely different from each other.


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