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Grim Tuesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 2) Paperback – 7 Jun 2004
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“[Garth Nix is] the coolest read in the playground.” Amanda Craig
PRAISE FOR MISTER MONDAY:
"I just loved Mister Monday, which is an amazing, no-holds-barred fantasy by Garth Nix. This is destined to be a cult series. Every chapter seems to bring something new and wonderful and ends with another surprise. In all honesty, I've never read anything quite like it and I simply can't wait for Tuesday." Anthony Horowitz
“Magic splashes across every page… With a likeable unlikely hero, fast-paced plotting and a plethora of mystical oddities, this series is sure to garner a host of fans.” Publishers Weekly starred review
From the Publisher
Question and Answer with Garth Nix:
What is your favourite piece of clothing?
My R. M. Williams elastic-sided boots
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you want to have with you?
I presume a satellite phone is out of the question, so:
1. "The How to Survive on a Deserted Island Manual"
2. A knife or machete
3. A very large clear plastic tarpaulin
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Absent-minded writer guy
What time do you get up in the morning?
Usually between 4:45am and 7:00am depending upon my young son. Preferably closer to 7:00am!
Do you have any pets? What are their names?
No pets, unless you count the two swallows that are building a nest under the canopy above my office door. Maybe I should give them names.
What are 3 things you love about where you live?
The sea, the trees, the birds
What makes you most happy?
A cup of tea, a good book and my family around me
Did you like school? What was your favourite subject?
I sometimes liked school. My favourite subject was History. Or maybe English. Or Drama.
When did you start writing and what gave you the inspiration to start?
I started writing stories when I was six or seven, but didn't seriously try to write and get published till I was nineteen.
What do you like to read? And what book are you reading now?
I like to read all sorts of books. I'm currently reading a history of Venice by John Julius Norwich.
What was the first book you can remember reading?
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
What is your favourite TV programme and pop band?
My favourite TV program is an old one, Dr Who. My favourite pop band changes, but I guess my all-time favourite would be The Beatles.
What is your perfect holiday?
Taking it easy at a beach house on the NSW South Coast in late Spring, before lots of people go there
If you could travel back in time, who would you be and why?
I would like to be all sorts of people, but I wouldn't mind being a long-lived, healthy medieval king who died in bed at an advanced age, mourned by all.
What is your favourite food?
Sausages and mash
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Give some of it away, invest the rest in interesting projects like making films, or producing a play, or re-publishing some old books that have disappeared
What is your favourite sport?
If you could be invisible for the day, where would you go?
The Invisible Club, though it's a pain to find and you keep bumping into people
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Where I live now, near the beach in Sydney
What is your ideal Saturday/weekend?
To be at home with my family, with no obligation to do anything or be anywhere
If you had 3 wishes from a genie what would it be?
That would depend upon the nature of the wishes. If I could make really big wishes for other people I would wish:
* For everyone in the world to be healthy and vigorous (and if that was too hard for the genie, then I'd try for all children to be healthy and vigorous)
* For all the weapons in the world to turn into flowers
* For everyone to be able to experience compassion and understand kindness
If the wishes had to be for myself, I would wish for:
* A really good singing voice
* Extremely good health for my whole family
* A small very comfortable castle on a large private island in Sydney Harbour
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Top customer reviews
Once again, the writing is a joy and the pacing brisk. Garth Nix has an amazing imagination (the story contains a gigantic creature mutated from someone's lost eyebrow), and he has created an impossible yet believable world peopled with vibrant three-dimensional characters. Arthur, the central character, continues to charm - ably assisted by the delightful Suzy, and not so ably assisted by the 'Will.'
So why, when I gobbled my way through 'Mr Monday' in less than a day, did I find myself plodding through 'Grim Tuesday' over an entire week? The answer: I found it rather formulaic and episodic. Oh yes, there's a great cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter - but the protagonist usually overcomes the obstacle within the first couple of pages of the next chapter, then marks time until the next chapter-ending cliff hanger. Lots of little story arcs - but not really any decent or challenging big ones.
The resolutions were just too darn convenient and required little thinking or effort on the part of the characters - and as such they did little to grow or develop throughout the narrative. For example: at one point they're stuck on a sort of glass pyramid whilst under a hail of fiery missiles. However, the creature they just happen to have with them just happens to have a glass-cutting diamond hidden in its mouth. Aarghhh!!! This kind of convenient resolution occurred with such regularity, that I no longer cared about the plight of the protagonist - certain that whatever tight corner he found himself in, he'd overcome it a page or two later with the minimal of mental effort.
That being said, it's still a jolly good book. If, like me, you've read the first part and intend to keep on reading until Sunday's book - then it's a must read. Really sorry I couldn't give it 5 stars! I liked it - but it just didn't have the class of 'Mr Monday'. Here's hoping 'Drowned Wednesday' will be a return to top form!
P.S. Why do people bother writing a 3 or 4 line review after reading only 6 chapters of the book? For future ref: please finish the book first and then give me your INFORMED opinion.
It's less than a day after the near-catastrophic events of "Mister Monday." And poor Arthur thought he was going to go back to a normal life. But he's suddenly called and told that Grim Tuesday has somehow called in debts of Mister Monday's -- including Arthur's entire world, among others. Houses are being mysteriously sold, creatures are swarming through his city, and the stock market is going wonky. So Arthur has to get back to the House and somehow get everything right again.
He narrowly escapes being attacked by one of Tuesday's minions, and ends up being dumped in the Far Reaches. There, he becomes an indentured servant to Tuesday, in an enormous Pit that mines Nothing, and is undermining the very foundations of the House. With the help of his friend Suzy Blue and a nautical captain (and Tuesday's discarded soot-eating eyebrow), he must somehow get the second key and second part of the Will -- or be destroyed by Tuesday.
Nix widens the scope of the world he introduced in "Mister Monday." Now that we're acquainted with concepts like the House, the Will, and the different Days, he goes full-speed into the storyline. There are plenty of interesting hints about the future -- especially a communique from Lady Wednesday. What will Nix do next? Only time will tell.
This book is a little off-kilter -- the bureaucratic terms can make your head spin sometimes. What's more, Nix spends too much time focusing on zipping up with the Ascending Wings and clinging to the top. However, his descriptions of the mine are excellent, full of despair and misery. You can almost smell the soot and grime. Not to mention the hideous Nithlings, as creepy and sinister as anything out of Nix's classic dark fantasy "Sabriel."
Grim Tuesday is an interesting villain in himself -- the ultimate plagiarizer, a guy who can't actually make things himself. So he copies other people's art and machines, and sells them. Arthur is still trying to fight against his destiny (just accept it, kid), and such memorable characters as Japheth the Thesaurus and the quirky Suzy appear to back him up.
While it drags at times, "Grim Tuesday" is still an intriguing, imaginative read with plenty of darkness and humor. It's not as good as "Mr. Monday," but it is a solid continuation and ends with hints for the third book.
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