Awful End By Philip Ardagh Published by Faber and Faber ISBN 0 571 20354 Welcome to the weird world of Philip Ardagh. Here you never know what's hiding round the corner or what bizarre 'Ardaghism' - an example of Ardagh's unique humour - is going to jump up, bite you on the funny bone and send you into fits of laughter. The very funny author has written more than 50 books for the young and young-at-heart, and Awful End is no exception. Awful End is the first part of a hilarious trilogy about the misadventures of young Eddie Dickens, a normal boy plunged into a world of daftness. For starters, his parents love him but can never remember his name. Eddie manages to keep his head while everyone around him is barking mad. When Eddie turns 11, his parents catch a disease that turns them yellow and makes them smell of old hot water bottles. The disease is very contagious, so Eddie is put in the care of Mad Uncle Jack and Even Madder Auntie Maud, who hits him with a stuffed animal and makes him live in a trunk. Eddie ends up being sent to Saint Horrid's Home for Grateful Orphans, but he escapes, hidden inside a fake cow. And the oddities just keep coming. The plot is pure nonsense and the characters are all from the funny farm, but Ardagh knows exactly what he is doing.