Review Blog

Sep 27 2017

Goth Girl and the sinister symphony by Chris Riddell

cover image

Goth Girl book 4. Macmillan Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9781447277941
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Goth Girl is back in another fabulous adventure as her father, Lord Goth, holds a music festival, Gothstock, in the grounds of Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Ada is home for the school holidays with her friends Emily and William Cabbage and the three, together with Kingsley the chimney caretaker, Ruby the outer-pantry maid and Arthur Halford, the hobby horse groom, form the Attic Club, its purpose to report on unusual happenings in the house. Of course, they are all worried that there will be problems with Gothstock as Maltravers, the indoor gamekeeper and outdoor butler, is organising it and Ada is worried about her father, besieged by three young and very fashionable women, brought to the Hall by his mother. Then there is Shaun the faun who likes to sleep in wardrobes.
This continues on in the very witty and highly amusing narrative that will have adults in stitches and children hanging on to see what happens next. Not only are there literary and classical music allusions in this volume, Riddell has spattered references to contemporary celebrities, so the reader will giggle at the idea of Tailor Extremely Swift who looks after everyone's wardrobes and the band the Ladies of G.A.G.G.A, as well as recognising Donald and Moravia Ear-Trumpet!
The illustrations are gorgeous, Lord Goth is the dark brooding Regency hero, Ada is stunningly beautiful in her lovely clothes and there are many funny drawings that will have the reader laughing out loud. There is also a tiny wordless book at the back, Fable of a Faun by Shaun Tumnus, which is also beautifully illustrated in soft pastels.
This will appeal to children and adults alike, the children loving the characters, illustrations and adventures, while adults will adore the sly wit and humour.
Pat Pledger

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