John Diamond GA 1


If ever I learned anything during that night, it was that, if you should hear the noise of running feet, you should not be angry, but think that somebody down below might be gasping and groaning and struggling to save his life. If you should see a boy raise his fists as if to bang on your door and then stumble away, it is not because he's a dirty little ruffian, but because he's just caught sight of somebody coming round a corner with a terrible hook. 'Really,' said Leon Garfield, 'what I try to write is that old-fashioned thing the family novel, accessible to the twelve-year-old and readable by his elders.' This classic tale of a boy who sets out to right the wrongs committed by his swindler father demonstrates how extraordinarily successful Leon Garfield was as a story-teller. His work transcends all generations. First published in 1980, John Diamond won the Whitbread Award that year, as the best children's story book, and also the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Honor Book Award. The Horn Book wrote: Narrated with the verve and pace of a picaresque novel, [John Diamond] combines a cast of remarkable eccentrics with superb sensory descriptions...A series of heart-stopping pursuits through the twisting London streets, narrow escapes, encounters with the denizens of Whitefriars, Foxes Court, and Hanging Court Alley move the story at a precipitous rate toward a thoroughly satisfying and surprising resolution. The plot is as convoluted as William's search - packed with unexpected turns, vain hopes of treasure, false clues, and masked identities...Richly imagined and audacious in its balance of humour and suspense, the book is as absorbing as it is compelling.

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