[DWJ] Ogre and back story

Philip Belben philipbelben at alice.de
Sat Jan 21 12:31:52 EST 2012

Hi all,

Starting 8DoL today ready for our discussion next month, I realised that 
no-one has said anything about The Ogre Downstairs yet.  So I thought 
I'd start by highlighting an aspect of the book that I'd not thought 
about before.

These chemistry sets must have been a special job by a wizard who wanted 
to see what kids would make of them.  Some of the chemicals are 
fiendishly hard to synthesise, or even obtain at all, and I can't 
believe that a chemistry set full of them would really be affordable!  I 
mean, how many centuries of research failed to isolate petr. philos.? 
Isn't most of modern chemistry founded on spin-offs from this research?

I particularly like the way the wizard got around "non-toxic, 
non-explosive".  I mean, it may well be neither toxic nor explosive, but 
dens drac. is really quite a dangerous substance!

It occured to me when reading the book this time that the wizard in 
question may have been the man in the toy shop.  I felt that when the 
kids went to consult him about antidotes, he was being deliberately slow 
and obstructive.  He seemed to me to delight in their difficulties, in fact.

What do others think?


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