Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Two older titles from Anthony Horowitz

Who knew that early Horowitz works were so influenced by Roald Dahl? Here are two reissued titles that are both goofy horror.

In The Switch (1986), Tad has a cushy life. Busy but extremely wealthy and overindulgent parents give him everything he wants, with one exception. When he isn't able to go to an amusement park, he wishes that he were someone else. He wakes up the next day as Bob Snarby, who carnival worker parents are filthy and grotesque. As Bob, he gets involved in a robbery plot that goes awry and gets sent to the Association for Children in Distress (ACID), a charity run by Tad's father that is a cover for using children to test cosmetics. He escapes, kidnaps "Tad", and in the ensuing fracas (lots of chasing about and shooting) is returned to his former body. Because Tad's parents are sent to jail, and Bob's parents run off, both boys end up at the same children's home. Over-the-top fun.

Groosham Grange (1988) also includes phenomenally wicked and uncaring parents, ala Matilda. David is kicked out of his school, and receives a mysterious invitation to attend Groosham Grange, where the children only have one vacation day a year and parents are welcome only if they can swim to the island. Things are not right at the grange-- children seem to have the wrong names, they all wear a strange ring, and everything is generally creepy. Fans of Lemony Snicket will like both of these titles, and Horowitz fans who have read Horowitz Horror will not be surprised by them.

I will not even blame Mr. Horowitz for the Latin error on page 10, since it seems to be a typographical error. "Quid te exempts iuvat spinis de pluribus una?" should really be "Quid te exempta juvat spinis e pluribus una?" ("Better one thorn plucked than all remain"). I'm sure this bothered all of you as much as it bothered me.

This is a direct quote from Horace, Epistles 2.2.212, and the "a" and "s" are right next to each other on the keyboard. We'll cut him a break this time.

Thank you to Michael Gilleland's site for answering this question.
http://laudatortemporisacti.blogspot.com/2005/05/mangled-quotation.html

Nota Bene: T.H. White's Latin in The Once and Future King (1939) is flawless as far as I can tell. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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