Quintessential Diana Wynne Jones: Archer’s Goon is about a boy, a family, a town and a threatening goon who takes up residence in the kitchen

Seven sinister siblings control the town in Archer’s Goon, but why is Archer the scariest sibling, and what does he use Howard’s father’s words for?

Archer’s Goon is classic Diana Wynne Jones with various mysteries and characters gradually converging.

The arrival of the Goon in Howard and Awful’s kitchen, demanding mysterious payment in the form of written words from their author-father, leads them to the discovery that a family of seven siblings are ruling and controlling their town, ‘farming’ the various industries. But who is using their father’s writing and what are they using it for? How did Howard and Awful’s family somehow get caught up in their schemes?

Beautifully constructed, with enjoyable characters. I recently reread this out loud with a friend on a camping holiday and enjoyed it just as much or more on a second reading. It would also be a great place to start if you are keen to try out DWJ.

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