Trading with the elves used to be so simple. Every year Master Cheeser Jonathan Bing would send his very best cheeses downriver to traders who would eventually return with Elfin wonders for the people of Twombly Town. But no more.
First the trading post at Willowood Station was mysteriously destroyed. Then a magical elfin airship began making forays overhead; Jonathan knew something was definitely amiss. So he set off downriver to deliver the cheeses himself, accompanied by the amazing Professor Wurzle, the irrepressible Dooly, and his faithful dog Ahab.
It would have been a pleasant trip, if not for the weeping skeleton, mad goblins, magic coins, an evil dwarf, a cloak of invisibility - and a watch that stopped time. However, the return trip would not be so simple.
This, the first volume in a trilogy, tells the story of Master Cheeser Jonathan Bing who sends his best cheeses downriver each year to the elves, in exchange for elfin treasures for the people of Twombly Town. When things go wrong, Jonathan has to set out to deliver the cheeses himself.
"A magical world, magically presented...having journeyed there, you will not wish to leave, nor ever to forget." (Philip K. Dick)
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Wallace and Gromit meet Swallows and Amazons
The audiobook is best for me because I like to listen whilst knitting and therefore do not have my hands free to turn the pages. In this case I also think the narrator's voice added a depth to the characters and the environment and enhanced the link to Wallace and Gromit (a favourite of mine). His voice is warm and friendly (as I think the book should be) and feels like a well-loved uncle reading the story.
Wallace and Gromit - a Northern cheesemaker and his dog go on an adventure.
Swallows and Amazons - It is a rafting and boating adventure
Enid Blyton - Told in a slightly (mock?) old-fashioned children's bed time story style.
Lord of the Rings - Travelling adventure with a (mostly) safe elven town as part-way refuge. Spooky woods, Elves and dwarfs and other fantasy creatures including rather silly goblins.
Scooby Doo - The intrepid team have to investigate the goings on in the spooky woods
The softly spoken Northern tones and accents Malk Williams uses in reading it are just perfect for the Wallace and Gromit-like atmosphere and add a lot to the character of the book and its inhabitants. I loved it.
It is light hearted and humerous even when the bad things happen and has wonderfully imagined and evoked characters.
It is characterful and intrepid in all the best ways.
- Charlie Paull
Just not interesting enough