London (Horrible Histories Gruesome Guides) by Terry Deary

By Terry Deary

A spot of plague, pestilence and fireplace, plus the brutal Blitz and the eye-watering nice Stink. It's loathsome London because the travelers by no means see it - with all of the hidden terrible bits! during this ugly urban consultant, Terry Deary takes you on a journey of Britain's greatest urban, exposing all its scurrilous secrets and techniques. make a journey to the terrifying Tower (but attempt to preserve your head on). Dip into London's biggest rest room, the ruthless River Thames! Peer into creepy St Paul's Cathedral! It's a blood-spattered journey you just daren't omit!

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There is no complicated prospectus, more fit for adults than children, of dream projections of waking originals. The text has a serene confidence in its own imaginative conditions that, along with its disquietingly simple style, are its lasting strengths. For those raised on the movie, what is 舠missing舡 is surface complexity, density of characterization, and witty dialogue. Baum舗s prose is clear and childlike and represents an uncompromising attention to plot rather than style, to events over character.

The fact that the absence of a heart actually produces something more profound舒intense regard for everything that moves舒is completely lost on the Woodman, just as the Scarecrow is clueless when it comes to knowing the real meaning of having brains. All three companions are alike in assuming a transparent relationship between signs and their meanings舒brains, heart, and courage舒and this, of course, is the book舗s running joke: All three already possess what they go looking for. 舡 14 The operative word there is perceived.

The magical Silver Shoes coexist with the Wizard舗s balloon, the balloon with the Wicked Witch, the tinkers and the tinsmiths with the Winged Monkeys and that oddest of Oz舗s brain belches, the dainty china people. The title of chapter XVI, 舠The Magic Art of the Great Humbug,舡 effectively summarizes what Baum is up to: forging an alliance between the human and the occult, the latter being owned by the former. Under no compulsion to separate the fantastic from the science fiction element, he ignores the self-consciously generic distinction, still enforced on newsstands where you can find Analog side by side with The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, between the magical and the manufactured.

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