readingtrance

book reviews by Althea

The Gargoyle in the Dump – John Bellairs ****

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The Gargoyle in the Dump
The Gargoyle in the Dump by John Bellairs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like many other children, I was always entertained by Bellairs’ many books, which always struck a delightful balance between lighthearted and spooky. When I heard that this ‘lost’ manuscript has just been published, I jumped at the chance to read it.

The story is truly vintage Bellairs. It is just a short story, however, not a full novel. Still, it’s well worth the couple of bucks it’s selling for.

Three boys find a magical gargoyle in the local dump. Dragging it home, they’re entertained by its ability to show them scenes from its storied history, to become involved in their play at being pirates, and most of all, to give the boring neighbors a bit of come-uppance.

The feel is a bit like ‘Swallows and Amazons’ – but with children who are just a little naughtier.

Admittedly, there were points at which I wished for more development of the characters, and I also felt that the story could’ve been expanded; with more gargoyle adventures. Perhaps if Bellairs had been with us longer, he would’ve come back to this piece and done more with the idea. It’s still thoroughly enjoyable.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Media for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

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