How we discovered DWJ

Joe Joe.Nankivell at
Fri Apr 19 12:57:19 EDT 2002

 > I am happy to say I didn't
> steal the actual copy - think it was a close-run thing
> though ;) 

Hm. I did end up with the actual library copy which was the first 
DWJ I read, but again without resorting to theft. It was The Ogre 
Downstairs and I found it in the school library and read it many 
times. I also read Eight Days of Luke. I loved both (of course), 
especially Ogre - so why didn't I search out more of her books 
back then? This is still a mystery to me. Up until about six years 
ago I sort of assumed that those two were the only ones she'd 
written. Weird, and a pity because the eleven-year-old me would 
have enjoyed Archer's Goon enormously.
But then about six years ago copies of The Ogre Downstairs (flared 
Puffin edition) started turning up in charity shops. Did anyone else 
in the UK notice this, I wonder? A huge bookshelf purge as the 
children of the 70s came of age and decluttered their lives? One of 
these copies was the exact one I'd first read from the school 
library. It suddenly revealed to me the incredible wealth of DWJ 
stuff that's out there, and I spent the next few months in an 
ecstatic binge on about 25 of her books which only tailed off when I 
realised that my options were becoming seriously reduced and 
pretty soon there'd be no choice but to take out a mortgage to buy 
Changeover. So I forced myself not to read quite everything I could 
lay my hands on, saving for a rainy day and all that. But I live in a 
rather wet country, so of the gettable ones I've only got Deep 
Secret to go. I'm really having to grit my teeth not to read it - can 
you imagine? And there's another Dublin Summer on the horizon...

Anyway, enough. Enjoy your weekends

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