The Fall of Fergal: The First Unlikely Exploit (Unlikely Exploits)

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9780805074765: The Fall of Fergal: The First Unlikely Exploit (Unlikely Exploits)
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The very last words young Fergal McNally heard in his life were: "Don't lean out of that window!" The very last sounds were probably the air whistling past his sticky-out ears as he fell the fourteen stories, the honk of traffic horns below (getting nearer and nearer, of course), and-possibly-the "SP" of the "SPLAT!" he himself made as he hit the pavement. Fergal certainly wouldn't have heard more than the "SP," though, because by the time the "LAT!" part had followed, he would have been well and truly dead.

The first in a darkly hilarious new series from the bestselling author of the Eddie Dickens Trilogy

Philip Ardagh's Unlikely Exploits series chart the extraordinary changes in fortune of the downtrodden McNally family, beginning with The Fall of Fergal. The setting is an unidentified country suffering from an unexpected breakout of large holes.

The McNally children find themselves in the Dell Hotel, the venue for the final of the Tap 'n' Type typing competition, surrounded by a strange assortment of characters ranging from Twinkle-Toes Tweedy, the house detective, to Mr. Peach, a ventriloquist with a very large mustache.

With young Fergal McNally falling to his death on page one, the only way for the McNallys is up . . .

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Review:

Philip Ardagh, the smart, silly author of the Eddie Dickens trilogy (and often called the UK's answer to Lemony Snicket), kicks off another smart, silly series with The Fall of Fergal.

Between an internal-dialogue prologue and an early in-story, readers will quickly realize that the plot of Fergal will probably prove secondary to Ardagh's free-wheeling self-referential style. But how can you argue when you're having this much fun? Even as the book begins with its ending, Ardagh's strategy works as brilliantly as ever--and even includes a semi-sensible plot: young Le Fay McNally has reached the Tap 'n' Type Young Typist of the Year Grand Finals, and she hopes to smuggle her older sister, twin brothers, and one younger brother into the luxurious Dell hotel to watch her compete. The poor, put-upon, ill-fed McNally kids reel at the poshness of the Dell, and comedy ensues as Le Fay first sneaks her siblings into the hotel, then begins meeting her competitors (including the hilariously illustrated and described Graham Large: "the hair--my God, the hair--that was most shocking of all. Thick, dark brown, and swept back into an enormous quiff, it was so stiff that it looked more like spun sugar....She'd never met such a sweet-smelling, softy-skinned, quiffy person in shorts before").

Between his knowing asides, Ardagh squeezes in a few other hilarious characters--including chief hotel detective Capt. Twinkle-Toes Tweedy (Retd.) and voluminously mustachioed ventriloquist and beat poet Hieronymus Peach--before the white-knuckle Tap 'n' Type finals and the book's climactic ending (which, if you'll remember, came at the book's beginning). Fans and soon-to-be fans of Ardagh will be glad to hear him confide that there's much, much more in store for the McNallys: "There are three books in this series, and something has to happen in the other two!" (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes

From the Inside Flap:

Philip Ardagh's Unlikely Exploits chart the extraordinary changes in fortune of the downtrodden McNally family beginning with THE FALL OF FERGAL. The setting is an unidentified country suffering from an unexpected breakout of large holes.

The McNally children find themselves in The Dell Hotel, the venue for the final of the Tap 'n' Type typing competition, surrounded by a strange assortment of characters ranging from Twinkle-Toes Tweedy, the house detective, to Mr. Peach, a ventriloquist with a very large moustache.

With young Fergal McNally falling to his death at the very beginning, the only way for the McNallys is up . . . .

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9780439730143: The Fall Of Fergal: The First Unlikely Exploit (Unlikely Exploits Trilogy)

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ISBN 10: 0439730147 ISBN 13: 9780439730143
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, 2005
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