2014: 79. Let's Kill Uncle

"Liar! Liar! Liar!"

Let's Kill Uncle, Rohan O'Grady

So this is a weird one.  It is a Bloomsbury Group Novel - they are dedicated to reprinting forgotten gems from the past (this one was published in 1963), such as Mrs. Tim of the Regiment (which I loved) and Miss Hargreaves (which I didn't).  This one is bonkers, but once I got into it, I got on board. 

It takes place on an obscure Canadian island, and concerns Barnaby Gaunt, who has been sent there to wait for his guardian uncle.  The problem is that Barnaby is heir to a ten-million dollar fortune, and his uncle is a sadistic sociopath who wants to kill him.  But no one believes Barnaby (particularly because he is wild and tends to make trouble), except the only other child on the island- Christine.  The two of them decide that the only reasonable solution is to kill the uncle before he kills Barnaby.  Quite a premise, but once you accept it, this is darkly comic, and fun.  The tone is a little bonkers - it goes from satire to real emotion and back, but it was entertaining enough.  I can see why it didn't quite stick for the ages, but I enjoyed reading it.  Particularly as there is a main character who is an honest mountie! Don't we all want to be reading more honest mountie books?

AND, according to the back cover, it was made into a 1966 horror movie starring the girl who played Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird.  Also, there are Edward Gorey illustrations.*  So there is certainly enough to keep you interested.

*I am basically in the bag for anything with Edward Gorey illustrations.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017