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The Skiver's Guide

Cover Art and blurb courtesy Joanna Dawes

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Published in 1984, the Skiver's Guide is a definite departure. For one thing, it's non-fiction, and for another, the only fantasy elements are the "ripe falsehoods" used by the skivers in the title. Apart from that, it's all too embarrassingly true-to-life. Detailing ways of shirking work, skiving school and fobbing off family, this book is the story of my early years. The prose is clear, witty and wonderful, and the instructions are laugh-out-loud funny.

From hiding from holiday horrors to inventing imagined illnesses, everyone of every age will relate to the situations she describes. If you enjoyed Nan Pilgrim's descriptions of her dinner at High Table in "Witch Week", you'll love the Skiver's Guide. It encourages such outrageous behaviour that the wonder is that it was ever published. All I can think is that the editors must have been skiving that day.