Synopsis: Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .
Review: I had high expectations going into this and I must say… they were most definitely exceeded! What a fabulously funny bite sized book! The thought of a 511 year old feeding a creature in exchange for eternal youth sounds perfectly reasonable to me, I’ll have to ask the author where I can get one. I demolished this book in under two hours; it’s the perfect length and pace for its intended middle grade audience and busy adults alike.
The characters are all completely morally grey except perhaps the “poo-ey” stinky beast who’ll stop at nothing to get his way. Ebenezer Tweezer is a vain old man masquerading as a 20 odd year old, he undergoes monumental physical and emotional changed though the book as he interacts with Bethany who we can only assume has been watching too much Tracey Beaker at the orphanage. I loved the contrast between the characters with the angelic looking perfectionist Ebenezer discovering the value of friendship with a snotty nosed poorly mannered orphan.
The book was darker than I expected it to be (RIP Paddington) but comfortably lifted the mood in the best way: with humour. I do slightly worry it maybe a little dark for some children but I’m sure that parents will be able to decide if their child is ready to meet the beast! This is such a deliciously funny, witty read and I can easily see this becoming a modern children’s classic! Lovers of “A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket” and anything Roald Dahl will simply gobble this story up! Happy Reading!
About the Author: Jack Meggitt Phillips is an incredibly exciting new talent. He is an author, scriptwriter and playwright whose work has been performed at The Roundhouse and featured on Radio 4. He is scriptwriter and presenter of The History of Advertising podcast. In his mind, Jack is an enormously talented ballroom dancer, however his enthusiasm far surpasses his actual talent. Jack lives in north London where he spends most of his time drinking peculiar teas and reading PG Wodehouse novels.