Diana Wynne Jones

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Lesley Croome

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Diana Wynne Jones, who showed her talent for exploiting the tensions that exist between adults and children to create hilarious situations in The Ogre Downstairs, has now gone one step further and woven a mythological dimension into the plot of [Eight Days of Luke]….

The book is shot through with the most delightful humour, the effect of which is both immediate and rewardingly cumulative. All the loose ends are tied up in the final chapter when it becomes clear that, in helping Luke, David has also been extricated from the toils of his relatives. Diana Wynne Jones clarifies the identity of Luke's pursuers and their link with Norse mythology on which the plot has been built, and in doing so defends herself against the charge of wilful obscurity which has been levelled at some writers of fantasy. While admiring the ingenuity of her puzzle, I admit to being more interested by the gloriously comic superstructure that has been erected upon it: an immensely enjoyable and dramatic story which should not be missed.

Lesley Croome, "Dangerous Wishes," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1975; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), No. 3813, April 4, 1975, p. 365.∗

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