Leon Garfield Margery Fisher - Essay

Margery Fisher

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

What is a children's book? What is a young adult? What pigeon-hole is big enough for Garfield? The answers to these questions must depend finally on each reader's discretion. Certainly [The strange affair of Adelaide Harris] is a book for all to read—all, that is, from a reasonably sophisticated eleven years upwards, for an intricate plot, a devastating mock-heroic tone demand some such starting point of age. As for the top limit, this is a comedy, a superb comedy whose slapstick, irony and farce may be readily accepted by adults on its own terms. All the same, there is one respect at least in which this book is within the particular reach of young people; to use [Edward] Blishen's phrase, there really is 'a...

(The entire section is 757 words.)